Kingston University London produced the second-highest number of graduate start-ups in the UK since 2014/15, according to research carried out last December by leading business financial platform, Tide.
The university, located in south west London and ranked in the UK’s top 50 in the 2022 Guardian University Guide, specialises in arts, design, fashion, science, engineering, and business.
Central to the fact that Kingston University has generated 1,630 start-ups since 2014/15 is its longstanding partnership with Santander, which has donated over £650,000 to the university since first teaming up with it in 2012.
In 2019 Kingston signed a new three-year partnership agreement with Santander Universities, continuing its support of students through business internship scholarships, enterprise education schemes, and bursaries.
Among the various opportunities Santander provides to Kingston is sponsorship for the University’s Strategy into Practice seminars, as well as for its entrepreneurship competition, Bright Ideas.
It also funds the Enterprise Education Programme, within which exist two schemes, the FastTrack and the Nest. The former funds four final-year students from any discipline, while the latter grants bursaries to ten promising graduate entrepreneurs.
Dwain Reid, Kingston University’s Student Enterprise Manager, said: “The advice, support and feedback on these schemes is worth thousands of pounds and is invaluable in helping our entrepreneurial students and graduates transform their creative ideas into feasible new ventures and become the business owners of the future.”
One of Kingston University’s most successful start-ups, Grocemania, founded by Askar Bulegenov and Alexandr Zhexembayev in 2016, was ranked 56th in the Startups 100 2021, jumping from the 99th position the year previously.
The University also produced a successful design and architecture start-up.
One of the founders, Salah Krichen said: “Kingston was essential in giving us the support, network, and confidence to establish 121 Collective.”
Another Kingston graduate, Christian Facey, was listed in Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2021 after co-founding AudioMob, an audio advertising company for mobile gaming which allows players to listen to adverts without their play being videos or banners displaying the ads.
Narrowly defeating Kingston University to take the top spot on Tide’s graduate start-up list was the Royal College of Art, which produced 1,665 start-ups since 2014/15.
Ranking in third place was Falmouth University which, located in Cornwall, generated more start-up businesses than any higher education provider outside of London, with 1,135 graduate start-ups founded by its alumni since 2014/15.
It also has a Launchpad venture studio, where students are supported to develop their own high-growth business.
In addition to Kingston University and the Royal College of Art, two other London-based higher education providers featured in the top ten of Tide’s graduate start-up list, with the University of the Arts London coming in sixth place and the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama two steps behind in eighth.
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