The Business Start-Up Journey 2018

Sign up now and start a business while you study at Kent

The Business Start-Up Journey is an inspirational programme which brings student business start-up ideas to life.

This 12-week co-curricular programme will provide you with a step-by-step guide to starting a business, teaching you the skills that are required to be a successful entrepreneur.

The programme welcomes all students from Kent Business School, the School of Computing and the School of Economics at the University of Kent. The Journey will largely be based in the ASPIRE space (Accelerator Space for Innovation and Enterprise) in the Sibson building, Canterbury. However events will take place across both the Canterbury and Medway campuses.

The programme’s focus on innovation will enhance your employability. You will learn how to assess risk, how to turn challenges into opportunity and develop leadership, communication, presentation and team-working skills.

Six steps to success

1. Be inspired

Meet successful business people and fellow student entrepreneurs. Take part in the ideas Hack to discover or develop your own business idea. Find new partners to work with.

2. Explore and learn

Work with business experts to learn about key business start-up areas including market research, product launch, social media and intellectual property.

3. Get investor-ready

Develop your business plan with one-to-one advice from our Entrepreneur in Residence and tech Entrepreneur in Residence.

4. Refine your strategy

Get one-to-one support and advice from our pool of successful entrepreneur mentors.

5. Showcase your idea

Pitch your business to the experts, makes valuable new connections and get the chance to win cash prizes to set up your business.

6. Be your own boss

You’re in business. Use your newfound skills to get a first foot on the career ladder.

Student Success

Emmanual Enemokwu

Emmanuel Enemokwu is a third-year Accounting and Management student at the Kent Business School, Medway. He is the founder of Jehu-cal a street fashion brand which has already turned over more than £10,000 in trade.

Emmanuel reached the final staged of the Business Start-Up Journey 2017 and is now on a self-employed placement running his business for a year.

Jaye Graham

Jaye is a final-year Economics and Sociology student. She won top prize in the 2017 Business Start-Up Journey’s pitching challenge and was awarded a £1,000 investment for her business, Pawfect Match.

The app utilises a Tinder-style interface to match homeless cats and dogs with potential owners. Jaye is now developing the app and has plans to launch in the south east of England this year.

Vasu Sarin

Vasu, a  third-year Business and Management student, was inspired to create wearable tech which tracks vital health signs after hearing a radio report about a missing woman.

After taking part in the Business Start-Up Journey, Vasu has found support for his product within the care home industry and is now seeking investment for his company, TAB Care Ltd. to create a prototype.

Key dates

The majority of the Business Start-Up Journey will be delivered on Wednesday afternoons, making it easy to fit around your studies.

The Campus Shuttle is a free coach service between Medway and Canterbury campuses. The service operates 7 days a week term-time only and the journey takes approximately 50 minutes.

After the Business Start-Up Journey Launch, the times and locations of all events will be supplied to all students wishing to continue on the Journey.

Saturday 10 March – Sunday 11 March
Business Bootcamp | 10.00 – 16.00 – Sibson, Canterbury
Present your ideas to fellow student entrepreneurs and gain valuable insight and feedback to help shape your ideas. Get the best tips on how to present yourself and your idea and discover what investors are really looking for.
Register for Saturday
Register for Sunday
Monday 12 March – Monday 26 March
Selected student entrepreneurs will be offered a one-to-one with a successful business person to gain further advice and perspective on their plans.
Wednesday 21 March
Working Lunch 7: Intellectual Property and Sourcing Finance | 15.00 – 17.00 – Sail & Colour Loft 210, Medway
Find out about copyright, trademarks and intellectual property, plus learn about innovative ways to secure funding and get your idea off the ground.
Wednesday 4 April
Business Start-Up Journey Showcase | 10.30 – 18.00 – Sibson, Canterbury
This is the finale of the Business Start-Up Journey where you get the chance to pitch to judges. There will be video presentations, prizes and more. Guests, donors, business experts and entrepreneurs are all welcome.

The Business Start-Up Journey Team

Adam Smith / Entrepreneur in Residence

Adam set up his own management consultancy business and has now diversified into angel investing in start-up companies. On the Business Start-Up Journey, Adam will mentor you through the start-up process, providing you with critical support and advice.

Rebecca Smith / ASPIRE Project Officer

Rebecca coordinates all things Business Start-Up Journey. With 18 years’ experience as a journalist, Rebecca uses her extensive network to ensure the best possible support and advice is available to you as you progress on the Journey.

Jason Marshall / Tech Entrepreneur in Residence

Jason has been a successful IT consultant for 10 years. On the Business Start-Up Journey, Jason will help test the viability and feasibility of your business propositions with a focus on innovative technology ideas.


The Business Start-Up Journey Mentors include:

Daniel Rubin / Founder and Executive Chairman, The Dune Group

As founder of an international fashion footwear brand, Daniel’s specialisms lie in retail, wholesale, importing and marketing. Daniel says: ‘Building a brand that has a clear personality and point of difference has been a challenging and rewarding experience.’

Laura Bounds / Managing Director Kent Crisps and Kentish Condiments

Laura’s specialism is marketing and the retail of food and drink. Laura says: ‘A good idea is great, but what business is about, is spotting an opportunity.’

Stefano Cuomo / Managing Director, Macknade Fine Foods

‘Communication is critical in business…mentoring is a two way process, with communication at its core, adding value to all involved.’


Contact Us

If you want more information on how to get involved with the Business Start-Up Journey please contact the ASPIRE team.


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