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Silicon Valley beckons for aspiring entrepreneur Shaun

Shaun Miller

Shaun Miller

Press release issued: 9 May 2012

A University of Bristol student has won a prestigious scholarship, beating off competition from hundreds of students across the country to win the opportunity to learn from top entrepreneurs in the United States and the UK.

Shaun Miller, a final year Economics undergraduate, has today been named as a Kauffman Global Scholar – an accolade which means he will receive world-class support to help start his own business.

The 15-month programme is fully-funded and includes a six-month stay in the US with fellow scholars, during which they will visit the leading universities of Stanford, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This is then followed by a three-month internship at a technology company to understand the real-life challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship.

Shaun, 21 and from Cotham, impressed the judges with his ideas, ambition and potential to be an excellent ambassador for the SETsquared Partnership – an enterprise collaboration between the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey.

His winning entry was a motion tracking device that connects with mobile phones and computers, which will have a wide range of applications. Details remain top secret as it’s still going through the patenting process.

Shaun, who has already started two of his own ventures, said: “The scholarship will give me a great chance to meet amazing people from around the world, and to find out from the best young minds what’s on the horizon.

“I’m looking forward to learning from some of the most respected professors and entrepreneurs in the world, going to Silicon Valley, and the internship in a technology company. It’s an incredible opportunity.”

The Kauffman Global Scholars Program begins in September when Shaun will be the ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ at the University of Bristol, having the opportunity to develop his business concept while networking with entrepreneurs, investors, and service providers in the UK. He will also encourage and enable students to work on their own entrepreneurial ideas.

Dave Jarman, chair of the selection panel and Head of Enterprise Education at the University of Bristol, said: “This scholarship is just part of SETsquared’s activities to support student enterprise. As well as giving one student a life-changing opportunity, the winner becomes a great advocate for entrepreneurship on their return, and they can share the experiences and knowledge they gain in the USA.

“Shaun is full of ideas. He has real entrepreneurial ambition is already inspirational to the students around him. He’ll make a great ambassador for both SETsquared in the US and for the Kauffman Foundation here in the UK.”

The Kauffman Global Scholars Program is one of several ways in which SETsquared supports student entrepreneurship. A year-long programme of activities includes the Deloitte business pitching contest, Xing business planning, enterprise boot camps and the Student Enterprise Awards, which this year will be held at the University of Surrey on 24 May. They are also holding an Apprentice-style trading day at Spitalfields Market called Uni Popshop on 28 June when student teams will compete to see who can make the most profit in one day.

Further information

About the SETsquared Partnership:

The SETsquared Partnership is the enterprise collaboration of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. Together, the universities employ 7,400 academic staff; earn nearly 10 per cent of the UK’s higher education research budget; and produce 11 per cent of all UK university patents.

The partnership has a 10-year track record of supporting companies through its innovation centres, which provide access to industry specialists, investors and experienced entrepreneurs. SETsquared currently supports over 250 early stage high-tech, high growth potential businesses, and 88 per cent of its incubated companies are still in business three years on. In the past five years, nearly £0.75bn in investment funding has been raised by spin outs and incubated companies.

SETsquared supports its student population of over 90,000 graduate and undergraduates to gain hands on business skills and entrepreneurial training through experiential inter-university activities. The partnership also provides opportunities for industry to access academic ideas with commercial potential and seeks to promote the impact, economically and socially, of its institutions’ research and enterprise activities.

About the Kauffman Foundation:

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works with partners to advance entrepreneurship in America and improve the education of children and youth. For more information, visit www.kauffman.org