It has almost been an entire year since Amber Probyn and Hazel McShane, the co-founders of PEEQUAL, won the New Enterprise Competition (NEC) – Growth Stage. We were keen to catch-up with them, to hear all about their success since winning £15,000 in last year’s NEC competition.
Can you summarise what PEEQUAL is?
PEEQUAL is the UK’s first free-standing women’s urinal, making it quick, safe, and sustainable for women to pee at events.
Why did you choose to apply for the NEC last year?
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.
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…)
The Intrapreneurial Knowledge Exchange Enterprise Pathway (IKEEP) begins with fully funded training to equip you with the skills to drive innovation and bring fresh thinking to businesses.
Once you’ve completed your intrapreneurial training, you can apply for a project placement and get the opportunity to take your new skills and help a business solve an innovative challenge.
Andreea Patrunjel, a postgraduate student, studying an MSc in Computer Science at the University of Bristol, took part in the IKEEP programme. She completed IKEEP’s online Intrapreneurial training and went on to apply for and take part in the 4-week project placement. She was matched with a Bristol start-up, Groundwaves, a company which have pioneered some of the most powerful haptic technology, and applied it in a footwear product, fusing the worlds of fashion and technology.
We caught up with Andreea to hear more about her experience with IKEEP…
The IKEEP Programme consists of high-quality knowledge exchange opportunities, providing fresh perspectives and skills to enable regional businesses to grow while honing the talent of future graduates.
Students involved will have participated in online training in a range of business areas such as managing innovation, business model development and project management. Student teams are ready to be placed within a company to develop business model solutions, improve market awareness and more!
Senmag Robotics’s Experience with IKEEP
Senmag Robotics took part in the IKEEP Programme this year. The student team, matched to this business, carried out market research to evaluate the most suitable markets and potential customers/early adopters for their product. They were also involved in the company’s website design, implementing improvements using HTML and CSS.
Senmag Robotics is a Bristol-based start-up andNew Enterprise Competition finalist producing affordable haptic feedback technology, which allows a user to physically interact with computer simulations, making environments and objects in AR/VR feel solid.
Spyros Lavetiz is the CEO and Co-founder of Senmag Robotics and has recently completed his final year of a master’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Bristol.
We spoke to Spyros to find out more about his experience with IKEEP…
Would you like to develop your Intrapreneurial skills and gain invaluable experience working with entrepreneurs?
The IKEEP programme includes free online training in a range of business areas such as managing innovation, business model canvas and leadership strategies.
After you’ve completed the training, you can apply for a short project placement (a commitment of 70 hours per student, spread flexibly over 4 weeks). You will work remotely for a regional business as part of an interdisciplinary team of 3 students. Upon completion of a project placement, you will receive a stipend of £450.
We spoke to Mansour, a student who participated in our IKEEP training and industry placement to find out how his experience was in the IKEEP programme. (more…)
New for Summer 2021! The Foundership scheme is opento students and recent graduates who want to explore their start-up ideas. Formerly the Enternship scheme, the Basecamp Enterprise team have revamped the programme for this year, givingstudent entrepreneurs the opportunity to explore their options over Summer break.
The four-week scheme equips founders with £1,000 funding, ringfenced networking and workshop opportunities, and allows you to work from the comfort of your own home.
Sound like something you may be interested in? Here is what you can get out of the scheme this Summer:
On submitting an application, we will ask you to set out what you would like to achieve over the four weeks. This could vary between wanting to undertake some research on your target market to building a prototype. Setting out what you intend to do will mean you can hold yourself accountable, it will motivate you to strive to succeed and will help you break down your overarching goals into tangible, achievable chunks. Successful applicants will submit a weekly report to Basecamp outlining what they achieved each week.(more…)
Considering applying for the chance of winning up to £1,000? Here are the top 4 reasons why you should take your ideas to the next level and submit an application:
The competition awards winners with up to £1,000 to go towards developing your start-up and the prize money can go towards anything. Whether it be developing a prototype, building a website, or purchasing tools and materials – whatever you need to take your ideas and turn them into a reality.
‘’The competition funding will allow our community workshop space to become a reality. We considered running a Crowdfunder, but funding from the NEC takes the pressure off and means that we have enough funds to purchase essential items that will be difficult to Crowdfund for.
We are excited that this funding will mean that all elements of our enterprise can start, and that we can start working towards developing products that can allow us to become financially self-sustaining.’’ – Precious Plastic Herzeele- 2020 winners
The world of employment has changed significantly over the last 12 months due to the pandemic. What has felt like months ofuncertainty over what the future holds, the prospect of diving into the deep–end and starting your own businessmight seem daunting.
However, working for yourself and launching a start-up in 2021 can be a greatopportunity. Particularly if your enterprise fills a gap in the market, is well researched and it is something you’re passionate about.
The New Enterprise Competition– Development stage is now open for applications. This stage of the competition awards up to £1,000 to 10 start-ups. Funds can be used towards developing student and graduate start-ups. Historically winners have ranged between social enterprises combating foodwaste, to sustainable clothing businesses and much more.