The New Enterprise Competition’s (NEC) award-winning Growth Support Programme (GSP) is open for applications.
The NEC is a year-long programme that offers you the chance to build your dream business, taking it from an idea scrawled onto a pub napkin, all the way up to a sustainable, successful, and profitable business.
What does it all mean?
After the initial Ideas and subsequent Development Stage, the final Growth Stage begins. It’s the highest point of the competition, where you will be competing for up to £20,000 in funding for your business.
The Ideation fund is a 7-weekexperimental learning programme, (running between the 2 November- 14 December), which provides applicants with specialist training, support and funding for founders who want to explore and test out an early-stage start-up idea.This programme is sponsored by The Bristol Grid.
RouteZero was founded by Computer Science graduate Albie-Baker Smith and his co-founder Dan Brown with a mission of stopping catastrophic climate change through their platform which helps individuals and organisations switch out high-emission travel for greener journeys.
“The UK has just experienced its hottest temperatures on record, and winning the competition provides us with the opportunity to attack one of the UK’s highest emission sources: travel. We’d like to say a massive thank you to the New Enterprise Competition and the University of Bristol for catalysing RouteZero’s potential. The investment allows us to accelerate our work with customers and deliver them journeys that are Green, Anywhere, Anyway.”
We caught up with Shabaj, who created the Success Program, a sports journaling app, which was awarded funding from the Ideas stage of the Competition last year.
In a nutshell, what is your start-up idea and where did the idea come from?
I’m working on a sports journaling app that allows individuals to track their weightlifting performance and provides customers with a quantitative measure of how their training programme is impacting their performance. Having our customers reflect on what they achieved on their last workout allows them to compete against themselves from one workout to the next.
The aim of the game is progression, but how can you know if you are progressing if you aren’t tracking your results?
I’m not the strongest person in the gym, by far. Often, if I push myself more than I am physically capable of and I get an injury. I got tired of repeating the same mistake and started to record my workouts in a notebook. However, I got fed up with flicking through the pages to find what weights, reps and sets I should do. I also lost more pens in the gym than most students do in three years at university. So I decided to build an app to think and carry less in the gym.
Have you always been interested in entrepreneurship? What inspired you to get into it?
I let my curiosity direct where I put my attention- which has its own set of pros and cons! My journey into entrepreneurship is more self-centred than most. From the projects I worked on, I always had a personal connection with problem I was trying to solve. Since I couldn’t find a product or service that met my needs, I would find out how I can create my own solution. If I have that problem, someone else might too.
As students, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to succeed.
The job market is extremely competitive, and often, recruiters already expect you to have work experience when you graduate. So, many of us spend the holidays searching for vacation schemes and internships, myself included. During this winter vacation, I was looking for opportunities to boost my CV when I stumbled across the SME Internship Scheme. It was truly the perfect opportunity because you are able to gain some experience working remotely whilst also getting paid for it.
With £200 up for grabs which can go towards supporting you and developing your start-up, what’s to loose? In case you need any more convincing as to why you should submit an application, here are our top three reasons why you should apply.
The accelerator comprises of ten workshops which include everything you need to know when starting up, including understanding your customer and pitching your idea. On completing the programme, you’ll also receive an endorsement badge and you’ll have constant opportunities to enhance your network. Apply to take part in the accelerator today as attending these workshops will help you feel ready for you pitch for the competition!
The Start-up Accelerator is a series of events put on by the Basecamp Enterprise team which are taking part between October and December with the aim of equipping you with an enterprising skillset. This skillset will help you become more employable as well as equipping founders with the start-up knowledge needed for developing their start-up.
‘’What is an Enterprise skillset?’’
You may hear that phrase and think it just applies to those who wish to set up a business. That may not be within your career plans but enterprise skills are still very important.
Enterprise skills may also be called ‘employability skills’ or ‘soft skills’ and these types of skills are always sought after by employers, yet many candidates overlook their importance. Skills that make up an Enterprise skillset may include the ability to make strategic decisions, working independently and problem solving. (more…)