Meet ...Brian McNicoll, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Manager
Who are you? Brian McNicoll
Where are you from? Dundee, Scotland
Where do you live? Dundee, Scotland
What did you study at Dundee? Applied Computing
When did you graduate? 2003
Where do you work? Centre of Entrepreneurship, University of Dundee
Your role? Working with and encouraging early stage student/staff/graduate entrerpreneurs at the University on their startup journeys, as well as embedding enterprising skills throughout the institution.
What do you do at work? We have a great team that runs the Centre of Entrepreneurship, including an assistant and seven students. We have a really unique setup in that regard. The students’ energy and ideas are really beneficial for the activities we run, which include:
- The Enterprise Challenge
- Public Lectures
- Entrepreneurial Masterclassses
- Access to the University Mentor Network
- University Wide Venture competition and Day of Entrepreneurship
- Our partnership with ElevatorUK.com (they’re running a business accelerator at our new Centre of Entrepreneurship facility at Heathfield which is due to open 2017).
What gives you satisfaction? Working closely with early-stage entrepreneurs and seeing them establish successful and commercially sustainable businesses.
What challenges do you face and how do you deal with them? The biggest challenge we have is explaining that enterprise and entrepreneurship is for everyone. It isn’t necessarily just about setting up a business – everyone can be everyone can be entrepreneurially-minded in whatever walk of life they are in, be it academic, industry or otherwise. With the establishment of the new centre as a beacon of entrepreneurship for the University (and the city), I am positive that this message will continue to grow and we will get more and more people interested in what we are doing.
The best thing about your work? Working with early-stage entrepreneurs – it is very exciting to see the ideas they are developing.
What do you do outside of work? I have a wife, two boys and two dogs so that takes up a lot of my time! It’s very enjoyable. I am also a keen golfer (I play at Carnoustie), footballer and cue sportsman!
Tell us something we don’t know about you? I founded my own business straight out of university back in 2003 called Dynamo Games. I ran it for nearly 10 years, developing games such as Championship Manager, The Crystal Maze and Countdown for mobile phones – even winning a BAFTA award along the way.
Why Dundee? As a Dundonian I am very proud to work and bring my family up in the city, especially during such an exciting time with all of the major re-development work that is going on. I can’t think of many cities across Europe right now that are going through so much positive change – the future looks very bright in sunny Dundee.
- Paper or Digital? Digital
- Tea or Coffee? Tea
- Facebook or Twitter? Twitter
- Pen or Pencil? Pen
- Morning or Afternoon? Morning
- Phone or Email? Email
- English or Maths? English
- Books or Films? Films
University of Dundee campus hotspot? The Dalhousie Building. It’s a lovely building and a thriving area on campus where many of the exciting events take place. Luckily, the new Centre of Entrepreneurship facility is going to be located adjacent to the Dalhousie. Therefore, we’ll be running most of our larger events and workshops there in a bid to make the area the ‘beacon of entrepreneurial activity’ on campus.
Someone at the University who inspires you? I think it is amazing that we have Mark Beaumont as our Rector and am sure he will do an amazing job of inspiring our staff and students to achieve incredible things, just as he has done in his own career.
How would you describe the University to someone who doesn’t know the institution/city? The University and the city are very friendly. They’re understated with lots of potential – some of the things that have came out of Dundee are – quite frankly – incredible, including Lemmings, Grand Theft Auto, the radio, aspirin, Frankenstein, the adhesive postage stamp, just to name but a few! We are also the only UNESCO City of Design in the UK, which shows just how innovative the people who work and live here are.