Skip to content

Innovative ideas available to businesses during annual Thinkubator Challenge

Organisations of all sizes seeking new and innovative ideas to support growth are being invited to take part in this year’s Thinkubator Challenge at Nottingham Business School (NBS).

Students around a table
Around 400 students take part in Thinkubator each year

On Wednesday 13 November, NBS, which is celebrating four decades of innovation in business education, will dedicate its full resource to solving real challenges submitted by a variety of businesses including SME’s and non-profit organisations.

The Thinkubator Challenge, now in its seventh year, sees a mixture of postgraduates and final year undergraduate students split into ‘thinking hubs’ where they use their collective knowledge to solve one challenge each.

The students are supported by expert academics, business management researchers and NBS Alumni Fellows.

Businesses present their challenge to a dedicated hub and students have three hours to research, analyse and evaluate the problem.

While the groups are working, businesses are invited to attend a series of masterclasses before returning to the hub for a summary presentation. NBS will also be hosting a Business Leaders Lecture by Frances Haque, Chief Economist for Santander UK on Where is the UK economy heading – what might the future impacts be? the night before Thinkubator, which businesses are invited to attend.

The unique award-winning event supports the growth of local and national businesses and is the only event of its kind in Europe. Being a world leading business school, NBS holds a Small Business Charter (SBC) Award for the role it plays in helping to create and develop British enterprise through its links with, and support for, the small business community.

In June 2019 NBS achieved Small Business Charter (SBC) reaccreditation for 5 years. The award winning Thinkubator Challenge was highlighted as an exemplar in the sector. Over the past six years, NBS staff and students have tackled a total 260 business challenges with 80% of these coming from small businesses.

Roger Luxton, Director of Solutions Consulting at Alterian, took part in last year’s Thinkubator event, he said: “I was really impressed with the enthusiasm and energy of the team who worked on our business challenge. The students were able to give us new perspectives and produced multiple actionable ideas that we plan to explore further.”

NBS Alumna Rebecca Bull took part in the Thinkubator Challenge whilst studying at NTU. Now the owner of My HR Hub, she was able to return by submitting her very own business challenge.

“It’s always great to get view points from others who are outside of the business,” she said.

“My business has benefitted immensely from working in partnership with NTU. The students are so passionate about solving business challenges and the results they bring in such a short time are very impressive. I felt privileged to have so much talent giving me advice and tips on how I should develop the business here on in.

“I was excited to implement the social media marketing insights gained and I can’t thank the NBS students enough for their inspiration and creativity.”

Melanie Currie, Deputy Dean of Nottingham Business School at Nottingham Trent University, said: “Thinkubator is an initiative that allows collaboration between our students and the business world, giving our highly sought after NBS students the chance to work on real-life situations, with both parties benefitting from their retrospective knowledge and experience.

“As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of NBS, we want to continue developing relationships within the business community. Those that take part in Thinkubator can benefit from fresh ideas and advice which can have a significant impact on their bottom line and most importantly, help support business growth.”

Although Thinkubator is a one-day event, relationships often thrive afterwards. In some cases, students have visited the organisation they worked with to follow-up with additional work and consultancy.

For further information or to submit a challenge, visit the Thinkubator website. The closing date for all applications will be on Friday 1 November. Businesses are required to send a representative to the event.

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Helen Breese, Public Relations Manager, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8751, or via email.

    Nottingham Business School

    Nottingham Business School is internationally recognised as a business school which combines academic excellence with impact on business and society. It creates globally responsible leaders through ethical, responsible and sustainable management education.

    NBS is also amongst the top 30 UK schools by ranking according to Guardian University League Tables 2018, and amongst the top 20 for both graduate level employability (DLHE) and for student satisfaction (NSS) and as part of NTU holds the TEF Gold award.  NTU has was named as Modern University of the Year 2018 by The Times and Sunday Times and University of the Year by Times Higher Education in 2017.

    NBS was nominated for the Business School of the Year award in the Times Higher Education Awards 2018.

    It holds international AASCB, EQUIS and EPAS accreditation. NBS has held 4* overall QS Stars rating since 2013, with 5* in five categories for the quality of its curriculum, teaching, research, business connectivity and international links.

    It is ranked in the top 95 of the Financial Times European Business School Ranking 2018 and its MSc in Management has also been ranked by the Financial Times as the 97th best Masters in Management in the world (MiM).

    NBS provides a transformational experience for its students through personalised and experiential learning. Each and every one of its students has their learning experience increasingly tailored to their aspirations through the use of academic and industry mentors, analytics, and a comprehensive range of personal development and experiential learning opportunities.

    A leader in integrating experiential learning into the fabric of all courses at all levels, NBS’ pioneering in-company degrees benefit some 200 students through direct sponsorship by blue-chip companies. NBS courses are also accredited by all relevant chartered professional bodies.

Published on 4 October 2019
  • Category: Business; Press office; Nottingham Business School