How did you hear about the elevate programme?
VR: I know the participants of last year’s programme and they gave me a good description of their experience. It sounded very interesting and useful for their business idea, so I decided to try it myself.
What made you decide to apply for elevate?
VR: As computer scientist I had very limited exposure to the business environment. Having this opportunity to learn the essential skills for an entrepreneur: doing market research, team building, business modelling, advertising, accounting and pitching made me excited to participate and test my research outcomes in practice.
What would you say to other students who have an idea/might be thinking of applying?
VR: Be ready to learn a lot and don’t hesitate to take some risks. You may find that your original idea will change quite significantly during the programme, improving from feedback and expert guidance.
PS: It can be hard work to balance the academic responsibilities with the programme, but ELEVATE gives you the money and encouragement to explore an idea. By the end of it, you should be pretty clear on whether it is feasible to carry it on as a business.
AB: I would say go for it, it is an excellent opportunity to learn and to advance your skills in areas you might not have even considered.
“It can be hard work to balance the academic responsibilities with the programme, but ELEVATE gives you the money and encouragement to explore an idea.”
How has participating in Elevate helped develop your business idea?
VR: We found ourselves constantly improving the business idea. As we were learning new things about the marketplace, competitors and our users, we made many useful upgrades to our product. We feel more confident now that our product will be well received by users.
AB: It was central in helping us flesh out the initial concept into a more rigid business plan.
How has participating in Elevate helped you as a person/entrepreneur?
VR: Participating in this programme has given me more courage to try an entrepreneurial path. I have more confidence with my pitch and a better understanding of the entrepreneurial environment. Overall, the range of opportunities has improved for me after taking part in the Elevate programme.
AB: It has given me a much deeper and more varied suite of skills with which to evaluate and solve any problems which I come across.
“It has given me a much deeper and more varied suite of skills with which to evaluate and solve any problems which I come across.”
Do you think participating in Elevate was more beneficial than ‘going it alone’?
VR: I have no doubt the Elevate programme has been tremendously beneficial, having excellent support from experienced people in the entrepreneurial community, as well as a place to learn and improve my idea, working together with other passionate people and comparing progress with other motivated teams.
AB: Definitely, without Elevate’s help we would have wasted a lot of time on aspects which weren’t so important (as well as ignoring other factors which turned out to be very important).
What are your plans for the business now the course has come to an end?
AB: The plan is to slowly develop the business over the next year when we have time, hopefully looking to launch at next year’s fresher’s week.
How often have you been in a new city and wanted to find something to do? You have a spare hour, and fancy some social interaction with someone who shares your interests. But you don’t know anyone there and normally that’s where it ends. Yolele provides a means for you to create events which are viewable by anyone in the local area to come and join you. By creating events like this you can find other people for a kickabout in the park, other musicians for a jam session or like-minded individuals for a discussion down the pub. Alternatively you can easily browse the other events people have created near to you. Maybe there are some interesting people you didn’t even know existed just around the corner.