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29 May 2024

University Unveils New International Partnership

The University of South Wales (USW) has unveiled a new international partnership focused on developing entrepreneurs.

Tumkur University and USW formally signed a collaboration agreement during a visit to the Indian institution by Richie Turner, USW’s Incubator Manager.

The partnership will initially see USW advising Tumkur University, which is near Bangalore in Karnataka State, India, on plans to develop an entrepreneurial incubator and a sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem for its students, graduates, faculty staff, and local communities.

The idea for the partnership began when Tumkur University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor M Venkateshwarlu, visited Wales last year as part of a wider Universities UK delegation trip. He met representatives of USW to discuss collaboration priorities including incubation, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

USW has topped the graduate startup entrepreneurship tables in Wales for the past four years and has opened three separate graduate entrepreneur incubators over the past five years.

Having secured funding from Global Wales to develop a partnership, the institutions were able to begin detailed discussions about how to deliver its first phase. This included mapping current policies and strategies in Tumkur University against USW’s award-winning enterprise and entrepreneurship ecosystem, which nurtures its students throughout their studies before offering them support via its Startup Stiwdio graduate incubator programmes.

During his visit to Tumkur University, Richie Turner met the team developing the project, discussed with their faculty staff how best to encourage students to become entrepreneurs, met some of the budding student entrepreneurs, and discussed with Professor Venkateshwarlu his aims for a longer lasting partnership between both universities. He also met representatives of its Incubator Board of Directors and industry advisers and key partners.

“The collaboration between Tumkur University and the University of South Wales holds promise for driving innovation and entrepreneurship, marking a significant milestone in Tumkur University's journey towards global recognition and excellence,” said Professor Venkateshwarlu.

Tumkur University has now developed a full business plan and delivery route map for its incubation and entrepreneurship programmes, which will begin with a qualification in entrepreneurship, followed by the opening of its new incubator building, and the first call for new business ideas in fields such as food production, organic agriculture, and the circular economy.

“I am delighted to have begun USW’s partnership with Tumkur University, especially as this is the year of Wales in India,” Richie said.

“The drive and ambition of their Vice-Chancellor is demonstrated in all his staff and students and I look forward to visiting again to see the new incubator in full operation.

“USW and Tumkur Universities have many things in common, not only are we both prioritising entrepreneurship and the startup economy in our graduates, we both wish to ensure we support entrepreneurs based in our local communities, especially women entrepreneurs.”

Future plans for extending the partnership include developing an exchange programme for startups between Tumkur and USW, looking at the possibility of reciprocal soft-landing initiatives, and opening up investment opportunities between Wales and Bengaluru – Bangalore India’s IT hub.

Dr Louise Bright, Pro Vice Chancellor for Enterprise, Engagement and Partnerships at USW, said:

“It’s great to have the opportunity to share our expertise in developing entrepreneurs with colleagues in overseas universities and to learn from their best practice.

“We pride ourselves on our partnerships, be they local or international, and this relationship with Tumkur University can only enhance the expertise of those who teach and learn at the institutions and help them to build a stronger economy in both countries.”

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