I'm Chris Fellingham, founder of the ARC Accelerator and passionate about the role of SHAPE, social ventures and innovation from research.
ARC is the first ever accelerator for SHAPE researchers funded by UKRI and ESRC. Prior to this, university startups (or spinouts in the lingo) were almost entirely Science focused and that meant programmes to support them were too. ARC aimed to fill that gap creating a community to help generate startups from SHAPE.
What does that look like? Think edtech for identifying children falling behind in class, think social programmes to help vulnerable groups back into education or the workforce, think psychology to help businesses hire better.
Closely related to this I work in the social venture world. Why close? Many SHAPE researchers work on social problems like poverty or marginalised groups or those who struggle at school - for many researchers a social rather than for-profit venture is the best vehicle to deliver their insight.
As we head into the 21st century, university research will be at the heart of every challenge from economic growth, to climate change to health and to wellbeing. Startups are one of the most powerful tools to take the brilliant ideas from research and spread them across society and the economy.
I am working to help universities across the world do that.