September 20, 2010 04:00 ET

Edinburgh University Leading the Way in Terms of New Start-Ups

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Sept. 20, 2010) - When looking for business success stories, there are countless to choose from, including Bill Gates' Microsoft empire, Sir Richard Branson's Virgin brand and Steve Jobs' Apple Inc. However, it was recently announced that Edinburgh University's research and innovation unit has been responsible for the creation of more than 40 firms. That is an increase of 40% when compared to the previous twelve months. Over the past five years 131 companies were started and now employ roughly 300 staff members. UK student insurance specialist Endsleigh has the details.

As the public sector faces record retrenchments, the coalition Government is turning its attention to the private sector for some much needed support. New start-up firms historically struggle to attract funds and banks are known to be reluctant when it comes to the provision of risk capital. It is therefore up to private venture capitalists or investors, or even the entrepreneurs themselves, to provide that first crucial £100,000 which could make all the difference.

The past 20 years has seen universities become more commercially minded. Projects managed by academics and students have received nurturing from business experts employed by university principals. The government sponsored Technology Strategy Board says "it's vital there is a knowledge exchange between academics and people from the business world. Good ideas need to be commercially challenged, and universities are becoming an increasingly important forum where the two sides can meet to discuss projects."

The most prominent ventures being undertaken by these new start-ups often focus on technology and 'green' industries. However, it will be difficult to transform the UK's small, hi-tech companies into international market leaders without the necessary government assistance.

About Endsleigh Insurance Services Ltd.

Endsleigh is the trusted brand for student insurance, and the only insurance provider recommended by NUS.

Endsleigh is an independent intermediary specialising in the provision of insurance and financial products for career people.

Originally founded in 1965 to serve the student market, Endsleigh has since broadened its products and services for graduates and professionals, as well as being the preferred insurance supplier for a variety of trade unions and professional organisations. The company offers a wide range of services including life, motor, home and travel insurance.

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