A summer of Motivation and Perseverance

Welcome to the Summer edition of TALK! This summer's theme: Motivation and Perseverance

FIRST Thoughts....

Essential skills to master when carving your own destiny could never be more accurately defined. In our latest feedback survey, the top skills learners reported improving were, 'motivation and perseverance' but in essence, how do we teach that? The short answer is we don't. These essential skills come from learning from peers, testing new ideas and reflecting on success big or small, at FIRST we create the space that gives these skills a chance to flourish.

Reading our LinkedIn feed this morning the team were delighted to see that Rosie Bath, founder of Cera Cotton had officially set up her first company social media page, Project Student Housing's Vishay Karia was taking his team out after a successful launch and James Tyer from Bud Couriers is already accessing FLOE hotdesking space as part of his prize for winning Startup Awards North East.

From the team at FIRST, have a blummin' marvellous summer and keep doing what you're doing as the world is beginning to take notice

FIRST Some News.....

Where to begin! This month saw 35 finalists from all corners of the North East pitch their ambitions, passion and vision for success to over 200 members of the North East startup ecosystem.

The FIRST team alongside partners Newcastle University Business School, NEL Fund Managers, Business and IP Centre North East, University of Sunderland, UMi, PNE and STARTUP @ Newcastle University and British Business Bank were overwhelmed (but not surprised) at the quality of finalists, their ideas and desire to make the North East and beyond a better place.

If you'd like to be involved as a partner, applicant or prize giver for 2023, please fill out this form and we'll be in touch.

2022 Winners: Who have gone onto be connected with some exceptional prizes and contacts such as: To all finalists and winners we'd like to say a huge well done and we'll see you all next year!

Events, news, and opportunities from the North East ecosystem:

Executive education, when is the right time?

Sometimes it’s hard to take a step back and do something that focuses on your personal development. To complete study alongside your day-to-day job, you need to be able to persevere through challenging times and have a motivated mindset

FIRST Founder, Charlotte Windebank, has recently embarked on an Executive MBA Master’s programme at Newcastle University Business School. Charlotte had channelled all her energy into developing FIRST since she set the business up in 2014, but now she is making time for herself, too.

In this video, Charlotte explains how the Executive MBA programme has benefited her. She explains although you need to be motivated to balance your work, study and personal life, the programme unlocks a range of new and existing skills which you can apply directly into your organisation.

The Business School offers scholarships for its Executive Education programmes, one of which Charlotte was the recipient of. Find out more and see if you’re eligible: Scholarships | Newcastle University Business School - Newcastle University Business School - Newcastle University (ncl.ac.uk) 

Access funding to recruit Graduate talent into your SME

The University of Sunderland’s ERDF Graduate Internship Scheme can provide local SMEs with a cost-effective approach to recruiting graduate talent for a 12 month period.

Join hundreds of companies who have benefitted from this programme and contact us to find out how we can help you grow your team; nurturing innovative ideas and introducing fresh graduate talent into your business.
  • Free 360-degree recruitment service to help you search and identify the best fit for your career opportunity
  • Funding available  – Up to £4,500 towards the salary of the intern
  • Eligible candidates must have a minimum of degree level qualification within the last 5 years
  • Minimum of £18k salary on a 12 month employment contract 
  • Applications for funding close July 2022
Apply Now!
For more information and to check if your business is eligible visit:
OR email donna.bainbridge@sunderland.ac.uk


As part of their brand new music festival Generator Live taking place across Newcastle from 18th - 25th June, they are pleased to announce the Generator Live Conference on 24th June.

The Generator Live Conference will take over the historic Biscuit Factory in the Ouseburn, with a packed programme of events, from industry panels in Artisan, recorded roundtable talks in The Drawing Room, workshops taking in the Work Room and exclusive 1:1 meetings in the Factory Kitchen cafe. For tickets and more information, visit here.

FIRST choice for upcoming events
To boost motivation and to keep going, take a look at these awesome opportunities, curated by the FIRST team:
  • 23/06/2022: Environmental, social, and governance bootcamp - NorthInvest: Tickets
  • 27/06/2022: Benchmarking your Innovation Processes - RTC North: Tickets
  • 05/07/2022: Having a go — moving from theory to practice with a new learning cycles toolkit - North East Together: Tickets
  • 07/07/2022: Back to Business Networking event - PNE: Tickets
  • 07/07/2022: Funding for growth - Innovation Super Network: Tickets
  • 13/09/2022: Accelerating Investment and Innovation Summit - Innovation Super Network: Tickets

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