On Wednesday, the 12th of October, Rise Up interns organised their first event of the year themed ‘Meet the Founders’ as a part of Thank Goodness It’s Wednesday series.
A group of recent graduates, who have been selected by Rise Up team, introduced their business ideas to crowd of students, advisors and professionals and gave a breath summary of what they are hoping to achieve in the next six months that been given to them by Rise Up. The ideas ranged from new type of beer and alcoholic tea to a new English-Chinese translation service and new type of pole dancing leggings that are supposed to protect dancers’ legs from bruises.
Louisa Rogers, who founded her own vintage clothing online shop, said with a laugh: “I probably do not look like a business person! But I went to the meeting with a business adviser and I told them that I have this crazy idea – I wanted to create a platform that would suit fashion-conscious people which would look clean and funky at the same time.”
The founder saw a gap in the market where Ebay and similar websites are quite fiddly and old-fashioned and wanted to change it. She emphasised that there are very few universities that give students such opportunity as this Rise Up foundership.
“The contacts that the team here provides are so great! The next six months are going to be very interesting as we’ll be meeting with potential investors, making connections and developing our knowledge on things like brand managing.”
She and all other founders will receive a stipend of £7,500 for living expenses, up to £10,000 funding for the development of their ideas, access to investors and customers through the Rise Up network and unlimited help from the advisors.
Claire, who started a new English-Chinese translation software, advised students to not be scared to come and talk to people at Rise Up and ask for their help: “Starting a business probably sounds very intimidating, especially for international students, but people at Rise Up are fantastic.” She also added: “Make sure you do your market research – it is the best way to know what your future customers needs and validate your idea.”
Thank Goodness It’s Wednesday event also allowed students, founders, investors and Rise Up team to meet each other in a relaxed environment, share their ideas and gain some informal advice. The organisers hoped that: “The event will inspire students to seek advice and consider alternative graduate careers such as starting their own business. The event will be held every second Wednesday of each month and is open to everybody willing to come along to enjoy the interesting talks, free pizza and refreshments.
As a part of Newcastle University’s Career Service Rise Up not only gives founderships, but also provides expert guidance, training and opportunities to help students explore their entrepreneurial side and gain valuable skills to increase their employability after graduation or even start their own business in the future.
To find out more about Rise Up, please visit Newcastle University’s website: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/careers/enterPrise/startup/