Falmouth University named among UK’s best for producing start-up businesses


Cornwall’s Falmouth University has produced more start-up businesses than any higher education institution outside London, a new study reveals.

The university, which has Plymouth’s TV funny woman Dawn French as chancellor, was listed third in the University Start-up League, a table produced by the UK’s leading business financial platform Tide.

Falmouth University has produced 1,135 graduate start-ups since 2014/15, according to the research. The figure was only beaten by the Royal College of Art, with 1,665 start-ups, and Kingston University’s 1,630.


The only other South West university to feature in the top 50 was Bristol’s University of the West of England (UWE), at number 47 with 161 new businesses created.

The Tide report said: “The university with the most grad start-ups outside of London is Falmouth, located in Cornwall, which saw 1,135 businesses started by its alumni since 2014/15.

“As with the other two most entrepreneurial universities, Falmouth is primarily a creative university and provides support via its Launchpad programme, which has a specific focus on helping students to bring their ideas into the market.”

The university calls the Launchpad a “high-performance environment that’s designed for those who dream big”. It says students tackle “real-world, real-market challenges” and collaborate with leading partners and launch their own start-up businesses, supported by experienced coaches, while gaining an MSc in entrepreneurship and being part of a “global venture studio”, leaving the course as director of their own companies.

The placement by Tide comes just 10 months after Falmouth University was named as the best university for business after a study revealed it had created thousands of entrepreneurs.

The institution topped a survey of 10million graduates, carried out by business funding platform Capital on Tap, which showed 23.5% of Falmouth graduates went on to run businesses – more than those from Oxford and Cambridge universities or the London School of Economics.

Tide said its research also included students that had become sole traders since 2014/15 and said: “Interestingly, it wasn’t a Russell Group university or a business school that produced the most start-ups, but actually, the Royal College of Art. The fact that the Royal College and other arts universities produced so many businesses is likely due to the fact that a large number of artists and people in creative industries are self-employed.

“Another London university was close behind in second, with Kingston University producing 1,630 start-ups since 2014/15, with start-ups from Kingston benefiting from investment from a partnership with Santander.”

The study also looked at the higher education providers with the greatest start-up income from its students, and those that had the most patents granted.

The university with the greatest income from the intellectual property of its students was the University of Oxford, standing at £213m in just the last five years.

The Institute of Cancer Research was second, with £208m, and the third-highest income from the ideas of its students was at the University of Sheffield, at £64m.

The University of Bristol was the highest placed from the South West, at number 29, with £4.35m. The University of Bath was at number 48, with £1.39m.

Meanwhile, Oxford students had more than 3,000 patents granted in the past five years, landing it the top spot as the higher education provider with the most patents granted.

Business Live’s South West Business Reporter is William Telford. William has more than a decade’s experience reporting on the business scene in Plymouth and the South West. He is based in Plymouth but covers the entire region.

To contact William: Email: william.telford@reachplc.com – Phone: 01752 293116 – Mob: 07584 594052 – Twitter: @WTelfordHerald – LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com – Facebook: www.facebook.com/william.telford.5473

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Students from the University of Cambridge have been responsible for 1,377 patents that have been granted in the past five years, placing it in second place, with University College London third, with 835 patents granted.

The UWE was the highest placed South West institution, at number 26, with 109 patents, just ahead of the University of Plymouth, at number 28 with 89 patents, and the University of Bristol, at number 29 with 88 patents. The University of Exeter was listed in 35th place, with 62 patents granted, and the University of Bath was at number 49 with 28 patents granted.

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