There was a special kind of buzz around campus last week as the Sporting Chance Initiative prepared to formally open Scotland, and the UK’s, very first sports business incubator, The Sport Hive, at the University of Stirling Innovation Park.

Dr John Rogers, Director of Research & Enterprise, welcoming guests

An innovative hub where students, entrepreneurs and businesses can come together to collaborate and “connect to enhance the world of sport”, The Sport Hive combines space, mentoring, peer-collaboration and access to an international network of experience, to help sports businesses take flight. And what better place than on campus at Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence?

Lucky winners of the pan-Scotland Sports Innovation Challenge student entrepreneurship competition, gain a whole year’s incubation in The Sport Hive. These ‘incubees’ receive tailor made support in an experienced environment, taking the sting out of solo start-up, and there are already a number of excellent entrepreneurs busy working away on their ideas.

Thursday 2nd February marked the official launch of The Sport Hive, with Ryan Carenduff (Incubee-keeper and programme manager at Sporting Chance Initiative) and Michael Harkins (Founder of Turtle Pack and the first sports business entrepreneur in residence) cutting the honey coloured ribbon. Complete with a glass of custom ‘Bee’s Knees’ cocktail, colleagues throughout the Scottish enterprise ecosystem toasted to the success of an exciting asset to business support.

In addition to officially launching The Sport Hive incubator, a new corporate sponsorship of the space was also announced. Haseltine Lake, European Patent and Trade Mark Attorney’s, will sponsor The Sport Hive for the next two years, bringing their own sports technology and design experience into the Hive for the incubees.

Sports entrepreneurs lucky enough to earn space in The Sport Hive are sure to bee on the fast track to success under the mentorship of Ryan and with a tailored, market specific support package that is second to none.

Andrew Gillen & Jeff Duah-Kessie – ArmaSox

Are you a Scottish student or recent graduate with an idea buzzing around in your head relating to sport / well being / health and want to get involved?

Yes please! I can’t wait to start my sport business! Make sure to enter the Sports Innovation Challenge for the chance to win a PAID place on the skills building day ‘Earn & Learn Academy’ and a years incubation and support in The Sport Hive.

I’m an idea’s person but I’m not interested in starting any as a business. Enter ‘Love Your Idea’ for the chance to win £250 cash prize for your great idea as well as a chance to win a PAID place on the skills building day ‘Earn & Learn Academy’

Sounds great but I’m not sure what the best next step for my idea/sports business is. If you have an idea for a sport related business or you simply have a passion for sport, get in touch with Ryan to discuss how you could get involved. Alternatively, you can discuss any business ideas with the University of Stirling Enterprise Programme Manager, Alasdair Gammack, by emailing studententerprise@stir.ac.uk.