Scots businessman Shaf Rasul is to become Resident Entrepreneur at the University of Strathclyde.
The new ambassadorial and mentoring role has been created within the Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network to inspire and nurture the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
It is expected that Mr Rasul’s real-world business expertise and significant investment portfolio across a range of sectors – including tech and commercial property – will help to facilitate new networking relationships with national and international enterprise and further support community outreach initiatives.
Mr Rasul, who is a Strathclyde graduate himself, will offer a weekly drop-in clinic for emerging Strathclyde entrepreneurs seeking guidance on their ideas, and leveraging his experience as a former member of the BBC’s online Dragon’s Den.
Fiona Ireland, Head of Enterprise at the University of Strathclyde said: “Shaf is an excellent example of a Strathclyde graduate who has demonstrated considerable success – and as Entrepreneur in Residence, he will provide an invaluable and enduring link to the world of business for our emerging entrepreneurs.
“He has played a leading role in advising, mentoring and inspiring our Business School students for many years. We are extremely pleased that students across the University will now be able to access his expertise as Resident Entrepreneur.
“Fundamentally, Shaf is genuinely interested in their ideas and is keen to lend a hand where it’s required – in other words, providing exactly the sort of practical support that they require. As an entrepreneurial university, Strathclyde is committed to cultivating entrepreneurs who can effectively pitch their innovations and ideas to any audience – and that’s an area where Shaf offers vast experience.”
All students, staff and graduates of the University have access to the Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network, which offers expertise, support and industry contacts to those looking to form and grow new businesses. The University is consistently ranked in the UK’s top 10 for company creation, and was named UK Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2013/14.
Mr Rasul established optical-media distribution business E-Net Computers in 2000 which went on to become the largest storage media distributor in Europe and one of the biggest buyers of optical storage products in the world.
He also founded commercial property specialists SRA Ventures and developed a wide venture capital investment portfolio focusing on asset management and ecommerce.
The serial entrepreneur and published author said: “I’m hugely honoured to be taking up this important role and really looking forward to seeing just what we can now collectively achieve as Strathclyde looks to maintain and improve on its recent period of sustained success.
“It is vital that it continues to be a pioneering institution of global standing within a leading international technological university.
“However, there is still much that can be done to engender new corporate connections with the business community and to turn ideas into successful companies, and that’s where I hope to offer fresh insight.”