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Wow an Audience

Santander Universities Enterprise Portal

Santander have recently launched the ‘Santander Universities Enterprise Portal’.  Within this, students have the opportunity to submit entries to win cash prizes for their a 60 second pitch.

If you can wow an audience with a sensational new business idea, concept or product in 60 seconds, you can win up to £1,500, as well as advice and support from Santander.

What do you need to do? Simply tell us about your business or idea and why you feel you deserve to win in 60 seconds.  Remember that people will be voting for their favourite entry so make sure it’s funny, creative or innovate.

The competition runs every three months so if you see yourself as the UK’s next successful entrepreneur, make sure you catch the next one!

If you’re interested, have a look at this short video about the competition as well as the link to the Enterprise Portal:

 https://www.santanderuniversities.co.uk/enterprise?t=1418207512

 https://www.santanderuniversities.co.uk/enterprise/win/60-second-pitch/business-opportunities/how-to-win?t=1418116838

The deadline for the submission for the first round of this is 22nd December 2014. 

Student Ambassador Blog Post

This month the Cardiff University Enterprise team posed the question: In your personal opinion, what is the greatest innovation of the last 20 years to our student ambassadors.  Amy Spencer-Rogers who studies Biomedical Science (Anatomy) answered:

The past 20 years has seen many great innovations that have completely changed the way we view and interact with the world, from the sequencing of the human genome to the common use of mobile phones to commercial GPS systems. It is extremely hard to pick one that stands out from all of these, however, in my opinion, perhaps the greatest innovation of the last 20 years is the launch of Google, the search engine which was launched in 1997 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

As someone born in the internet age who has grown up with Google, it is hard not to take it for granted and as silly as it sounds, I can barely imagine life without it. Google, to me, is the gateway to the internet and the enormous wealth of human knowledge it contains. It is so ubiquitous that the term ‘to google’ something has become a verb in its own right. It makes the little problems in life that bit easier to solve when you can enter, ‘how to unblock a drain’, ‘how to cook chicken’ or even ‘what is this weird rash on my arm’ and immediately come up with relevant answers. As a university student, I also find it hard to imagine how tedious it must have been when writing an essay or report to have to trawl through textbooks and hard copies of journals to find the information you needed.

Before the advent of Google, search engines did exist but they were a lot less user friendly and ranked results by the number of times a search term appeared on a page, as opposed to the relevance of the page. I think that Google therefore raised the bar for other websites and search engines on the internet, driving a more user friendly approach to designing sites and making the information that was available more accessible and useful for a huge number of people. The fact that Google acts as a gateway for such a breadth of knowledge is why, for me, it is perhaps the greatest innovation of the last 20 years.

Stay tuned for more repsonses from our Ambassadors.

Student Ambassador Blog Post

This month the Cardiff University Enterprise team posed the question: In your personal opinion, what is the greatest innovation of the last 20 years to our student ambassadors.  Alicia Lee is an Enterprise Ambassador currently studying a BSc Business Management responded:

The past 20 years may be characterised by unprecedented advancement in innovation unfolding across countless industries, perhaps the most notable of which relate to technological inventions which are ultimately shaping our future and changing the world within which we live.

It is my belief, and I’m sure the belief of many, that Wi-Fi may be considered the greatest innovation within this era, for it has even been suggested that this technological breakthrough may be considered a basic human need, as illustrated by the adaptation of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Wi-Fi has truly become one of the most basic needs for most people across the world.

Short for Wireless Fidelity, this technological innovation enables computers, smartphones, iPad’s and other devices to communicate over a wireless signal. As we live in an increasingly connected world, reliance upon communication has taken precedence and we often feel panicked if we don’t have our smartphone or cannot access a wireless network. This demonstrates the extent to which Wi-Fi has become a staple in the fundamental needs of humans in order to remain connected.

Ultimately, the 21st century has become defined by the digital revolution, of which Wi-Fi has made a significant contribution. This has redefined how society views and interacts with technology through providing a high quality and consistent connected experience which has facilitated an increasingly interconnected world.

Stay tuned this week for more repsonses from the other ambassadors.

Guest Blogger – James Hind, Founder and CEO of Carwow

We always find it so inspiring to hear entrepreneurs talk about their experiences. Often running your own business is as much about a personal journey as it is about a business one! As part of our series of Guest Blogs, we’re asking inspiring entrepreneurs to tell us their stories.  

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This week we spoke to James Hind, Founder and CEO of carwow, a comparison site for new car buyers. James tells us how he went from running his business from his kitchen table to leading a team of 16 employees.

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1.     Tell us about yourself and how you came up with the idea of carwow

I’m James Hind, co-founder & CEO of carwow. I started the business after graduating university. I’d always envisaged a career in finance but after a short stint interning at a finance company I realised it wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life.

I guess it was always in the back of my mind that one day I wanted to start a business, and doing so straight out of uni is a good time to do so as you have little to no existing commitments.

A lot of my friends and family were asking me for advice on what car to buy, so we created a site that aggregated reviews from across the web to offer advice to prospective car buyers. Pretty soon our users were asking if we knew where they could buy a car from, so we built carwow, the UKs first & only comparison site for new car buying.

 

2.     Did you see self-employment as a viable career option after graduation or did you stumble upon it?

A bit of both to be honest. I studied finance and always figured I’d go into that, but at the same time I always wanted to run my own thing.

A summer internship at a finance company put me off that route, so I worked a ski season abroad while I assessed my options and just decided to jump in headfirst to running my own business.

 

3.     What’s the biggest challenge you have overcome in starting-up?

We’re trying to improve an industry that’s been doing business the same way for decades, so change can appear very alien to decision makers.

A big part of our business involves getting dealerships on board to offer our users a fair price and amazing customer service. In the early days it was very difficult getting dealers to sign up, it was a numbers game and a tough slog but eventually we got our first 3 dealers to sign up and then things started to pick up. Fast-forward 12 months and we work with almost 400 dealers across the UK and last month 5% of all new Volkswagen Golfs sold in the UK were sold via carwow.

 

4.     What has been the most exciting development in your business so far?  

In February we raised a substantial investment from some of the leading investors in Europe – the investors behind companies like LoveFilm, Betfair & Zoopla. That was a real turning point for the business, it allowed us to hire an awesome team and scale really quickly.

 

5.     What do you feel is the most rewarding aspect of running your own business?

Just seeing it take off. We ran the business as a review aggregator for the first couple of years before turning it into a comparison site.

Since making that change we’ve seen unbelievable growth, scaling from zero to in excess of £10m worth of new cars sold each month. In our first 12 months of operation we’ve helped sell over £75m worth of cars and saved our customers over £9m.

It’s been an amazing experience to run something that’s growing so quickly, it’s weird to think that only 16 months ago I was running the business at my kitchen table, and now we have an office and 16 staff.

 

6.     What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Patience and perseverance. Starting a business is hard, things will change a lot and it’s unlikely you’ll end up building and scaling your original idea, it will evolve or even change entirely. We started out as a review aggregator and turned into a comparison site. It’s important that you’re patient, willing to accept change and never give up.

 

 

Idea to business in 10 quickie steps

For entrepreneurs, it is often easier to come up with a variety of ideas for new businesses and more difficult to actually implement those concepts. Ideas and businesses are often different, but most are likely to go through these phases.

1. Come up with an idea

2. Think it through

3. Get some feedback from those who know

4. Make necessary changes

5. Build your basic product/service

7. Test it out

8. Make adjustments again

6. Launch

9. Grow

10. Continually review your plan.

If you feel this is all easier said than done, you are not alone. We are here to help you at every step. If you are interested in enterprise, Cardiff University Enterprise can help you develop the skills you need to stand out from the crowd or successfully create your own business.

If you have an idea for a business or social enterprise and need help to develop it or someone to talk to about the next steps, Cardiff University Enterprise offers impartial information, guidance and advice to Cardiff University students, graduates and alumni on how to take an idea forward and take an existing business or social enterprise to the next level.

We offer 1-2-1 business drop in sessions with experienced advisers and an opportunity to ask sector experts questions about your business, business start-up & skills development workshops, a diary of distinguished entrepreneurial speakers, an annual ideas challenge, access to funds & developmental bursaries, and a FREE start up office premises to kick start your business.

If you would like speak to someone about exploring an idea or the support available to you, please get in touch with Iheanyi Ibe on enterprise@cardiff.ac.uk

 

Newsletter 16

Hello,

We are seeing less and less students on campus and that can only mean one thing: SUMMER! The Enterprise Team are preparing for a summer full of event planning. We are working hard to put together an event calendar for next year that will offer more hands-on, interesting and  insightful workshops, activities, guests speakers, challenges and competitions. We will be offering our annual events like Spark, Ignite and iSolve as well as some new and exciting ones. If you have any suggestions  about the type of activities we should run next year, please feel free to get in touch by responding to this email. We want to make sure that everything on offer is relevant and useful to Cardiff University students.

Certificate of Personal Development in Enterprise & Entrepreneurship

We are almost at the end of our event calendar and are now able to accurately calculate points accrued by each student and award certificates in Personal Development in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship.  We will send out emails to the students who have qualified by noon on Friday 13 June with instructions on how to collect your certificate.  If you have any questions regarding the certificates please reply to this email.

Take My Junk: June 12 10:00-14:00, Woodville Pub.

A chance for students to buy, sell or trade items before leaving their accommodation for the summer. Take this opportunity to get a great deal on household essentials or to make a profit on your unwanted  goods.

Run in conjunction with Get it Out For Cardiff, the council will take anyway any un-sold items.  We are hoping to decrease the amount of waste sent to landfills this year.

If you don’t have anything to get rid of, please come along and try to snag a bargain.

To book your place visit: http://bit.ly/1o6FA60

Business Start-Up Week:

We’ve designed a four day intensive  programme  to get your business idea ready to take to market. Featuring a host of guest speakers, industry experts and hands on workshops, the week aims to the develop  the skills and knowledge you need to get your venture off the ground.  To apply visit: http://bit.ly/1sldqCa

1-2-1 mentoring

Remember that we are always here for a chat if you have a business idea or would like some advice on how to become self-employed (freelancing, websites etc). Pop into the SU and say

Kind regards,
Cardiff University Enterprise

Newsletter 14

Life after exams…

Exams have officially started and it’s hard to see past all the work that students have ahead of them, but there is life after exams.  The Enterprise Team have some great summer opportunities coming up. We will also be around all summer if you would like to pop into our office on the second  floor of the SU to have a chat about the different paths you can take after graduation and whether or not self employment is right for you.

Take My Junk: June 12 from 10:00-14:00, Woodville Pub.

A chance for students to buy, sell or trade items before leaving their accommodation for the summer. Take this opportunity to get a great deal on household essentials or to make a profit on your unwanted  goods.

Run in conjunction with Get it Out For Cardiff, the council will take anyway any un-sold items.  We are hoping to decrease the amount of waste sent to landfills this year.

To book your place visit: http://bit.ly/1o6FA60

Entrepreneurial Shadowing:

We are offering an Entrepreneurial Shadowing Experience for up to 12 lucky young people based at Wales ICE week commencing the 16th June 2014.

We will be looking for students from the South East area that have a strong interest in entrepreneurship to take part in an exciting pilot shadowing programme at Welsh ICE.  During the week, these lucky few students will have the opportunity to shadow some exciting entrepreneurs from a vast range of different businesses and sectors that are all based at Wales ICE.  Students will be given real life business tasks to complete.

For the application pack email: eneterprise@cardiff.ac.uk . Applications are due by 2 June.

 Business Start-Up Week:

We’ve designed a four day intensive  programme  to get your business idea ready to take to market. Featuring a host of guest speakers, industry experts and hands on workshops, the week aims to the develop  the skills and knowledge you need to get your venture off the ground.  To apply visit: http://bit.ly/1sldqCa

Helping the Local Community: ENACTUS

Would you like to help/volunteer  within the community? If so, you should get involved with ENACTUS- a worldwide organisation of students that apply business concepts to develop community outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. We are currently recruiting for next year.  If you’re interested please email: youngst@cardiff.ac.uk

Good luck with Exams!!

 

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