On 15 February 2017, students at the University of Hull attended ‘Be Inspired: Entrepreneurial Journeys’. The event forming part of a series of events and activities to raise awareness of the benefits which starting a business can bring.
The event was led by four Alumni entrepreneurs: Kevin Smith, Co-founder Battle Oats and ICON Nutrition (Politics); Massi Jahani, Director of Toranj Tuition (Engineering, 2013); Adam Boyne, Co-Director of BetaJester (Computer Science, 2015) and Dmitrij Sumichin, Relationship & Business Development at PetDreamHouse (Business, 2015).
Our speakers provided students with some great insights into their experiences, what inspired them to choose their entrepreneurial paths as well as exposing the highs and lows of running, owning or working in an entrepreneurial business.
Doing your research, being able to bounce back quickly from failure, and the message of ‘think about the value you are adding’ all came out during the afternoon.
Students put their questions to our guests wanting to know more. Adam Boyne from BetaJester who started his virtual reality tech’ & gaming business whilst still being a student was questioned about how he managed his time:
“Self-motivation, balance and the desire to succeed”.
Massi concluded that for a social enterprise in the education sector, building networks and long-term relationships were key. For Dmitrij, he said that when working in a small but fast growing business being able to:
“be creative, respond quickly to problems that arise and not being afraid to try new ways of doing things is vital to success”.
Kevin Smith whose companies are rapidly increasing the number of countries they export to, have just launched a new protein water and are about to launch a new product – a protein based cookie; BattleOats recently announced as the main nutrition partner to UK Total Warrior 2017. Kevin discussed the importance of establishing brand within an existing marketplace, and a good use of social media to engage customers. Asking what he would advise himself if he could turn back the clock, he said:
“Don’t be paralysed by choices. If you really want to figure out which one of your passions is worth your time and energy to create a business from, you just need to act. Choose one over the other and go. Action really matters!”
The University is committed to working towards offering every student the opportunity to developing enterprise skills; access to support with developing ideas, in addition to the personal development and entrepreneurial attributes of its students. We would be interested to hear more from Alumni from the University of Hull who have their own entrepreneurial journeys and have thoughts on how this could contribute to inspire current students and recent graduates.
Paula Gouldthorpe, Entrepreneurship Manager, University of Hull
Websites of our Graduate Alumni Entrepreneur Speakers:
http://www.betajester.co.uk/ – Virtual Reality and Game Development
http://www.toranjtuition.org/ – Education Tuition in Schools
https://www.battleoats.com/ – Nutritional bars and snacks
http://www.petdreamhouse.com/ – Unique pet products and accessories from across the globe
https://www.iconnutrition.com/ – Health supplements for the fitness industry