Centres for Doctoral Training


Energy Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (Energy YES)

Developed for postgraduate energy researchers by the Network of Energy Centres for Doctoral Training. and the Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entreprenuership, Energy YES is the first event of its kind specifically for the energy community. It offers participants a great opportunity to hone their business skills and the chance to compete for a cash prize of £1,000.

For Postgraduate Researchers

Energy YES 2014 will take place from the 21st - 23rd May 2014 at Alstom Power in Rugby.

Registration for 2014 competition is now closed.


For Prospective Sponsors

If you want to get involved and support the future of energy contact donna.palmer@nottingham.ac.uk

Ways to get involved in future events

What is Energy YES?

The competition spans three busy days, packed with presentations and activities to help you really get to grips with commercialisation and entrepreneurship. An short film about Energy YES can be viewed here (or below). It features Professor Simon Mosey from University of Nottingham and JIngJing Liu who participated in 2013 competition.

Flash player not available.

The presentations from leading business and industry figures will cover a range of topics around commercialisation and technology transfer, including:

  • Requirements of a business plan
  • Intellectual property and patenting strategy
  • Raising and managing finance
  • Commercial and marketing strategies
  • Real-life case studies from entrepreneurs

Each afternoon, with the support of a business mentor, groups will prepare an oral business plan presentation. On the final day, groups will present their plan to a panel of investors who will judge the best bid.

The winning team will be awarded a cash prize of £1,000 and, in 2013 the top two teams went on to compete head to head with the winners of workshops for our sister competition Engineering YES.

What are the benefits?

Energy YES gives participants the chance to:

  • gain invaluable knowledge of the business world whether they plan to work in industry or remain in academia
  • develop key skills: team work, succeeding under pressure, innovative problem solving
  • talk to the speakers and mentors about the opportunities available to them and they may even be potential employers
  • meet fellow energy postgraduate researchers from across the country

How to register

Energy YES 2014 will take place from the 21st - 23rd May 2014 at Alstom Power in Rugby.

There will be a half day briefing session held on 7th April at university of Nottingham. It is recommended that at least one team member attends this session.

Feedback from past participants

“Energy YES has been so worthwhile. Winning aside, we’ve learnt a lot about commercialisation of science and it has been really useful to talk to mentors such as patent attorneys that we wouldn’t usually have access to. The speakers were excellent and it’s especially encouraging to hear from people who have been in our shoes as researchers and gone on to successfully commercialise their ideas.”

“It was a great experience and I enjoyed everything about the event, but especially meeting real student entrepreneurs who have created spin out companies from their research work and also the intellectual property and patenting strategy session. Now I understand the patenting process properly for the first time and feel I would recognise opportunities which I might have missed before”.

2013 Energy YES

To view photos from Energy YES 2013 visit our Facebook page. Below are links to blogs and articles prepared following the 2013 event:

For potential Sponsors:

We would love to hear from companies or individuals interested in supporting the programme so please contact Donna Palmer, Energy CDT Network Manager.

There are a number of ways to get involved;

  • Sponsors places or contributing to the running costs
  • Presenting during a workshop
  • Mentoring for an afternoon
  • Being on the judging panel

Key benefits to a company being involved is meeting the researchers, making contacts and potentially finding future employees. Below is what some of those involved in Energy YES 2013 had to say:

“an excellent event, with genuinely fantastic and tangible ideas, enthusiastic students and a great learning experience for all!”

Connor Agnew, Baker Tilly Corporate Finance LLP

"What a delight to spend some time working with bright, energetic science postgraduates on how best to protect their technical business ideas. Science and in particular commercialised science can benefit the young people themselves and society in general, and entrepreneurial training schemes such as these are an excellent way to facilitate this. We will see the benefits in a few years time as they complete their postgraduate training and head out into the workplace."

Kate MacDonald, Capella IP Limited

"I was very impressed by the high standard of the presentations. The pitches showed a remarkable level of applied innovation and, more importantly, demonstrated that the teams had come to grips with many of the drivers for creating a successful company and securing investment."

Douglas Drysdale, Harrison Goddard Foote

"I very much enjoyed the opportunity to speak to an impressive group of entrepreneurial graduates at the Energy YES competition. Clearly a great deal of thought had been put into the business plans and we were treated to a broad spectrum of ideas. I was particularly struck by the candidates' efforts to identify and take a commercially realistic approach to intellectual property."

Dr Jeremy Bretherton, Marsk & Clerk LLP

"Confirmed my experience of the sheer inventiveness and energy of our young people and the importance of empowering them to take control of their IP and futures"

Dave McGrath, Richard Irvin Sustainable Energy Ltd

"The standard of presentations was excellent and the ideas were so wide ranging, it was difficult as a judge to find a winner. It is great to see such a high level of entrepreneurial thinking and enthusiasm from our University students."

Silvio Clemente, Scottish Enterprise

"It was a pleasure to be involved in judging the inaugural Energy YES workshop. I was very impressed by the general standard of the participants presentations, their enthusiasm and eagerness to receive feedback. I wish the winners the best of luck and hope to encounter many of the participants working within the energy sector in the future."

Andrew Carnwath, Scottish Equity Partners LLP

"I am not sure who got more out of the event ,the teams or me,as I enjoyed it so much and was really impressed with the quality of the teams and their submissions"

Nigel Ellis, SSE

..."the YES series of events is crucial to getting our young researchers involved in innovation and providing skills and opportunities for understanding commercialisation and the business world. I am very pleased to be part of that process and I continue to be delighted with the quality of ideas and enthusiasm of the teams as the work together to create real business propositions. "

Dr Cait Murray, CEO, Strategic Scientific Consulting, Glasgow.