In the loop

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 14:06:00 GMT

 Bright business ideas earn students a place in major new network

Intuit 100 up group

Professor John Thompson (centre) with, l-r, Jacob Hill, Jeff Postlethwaite, Heather Lawrence and Matthew Mitchell.

FOUR enterprising University of Huddersfield students have been selected to join a network of the country’s one hundred brightest young entrepreneurs.

And they celebrated their success by talking up an invitation to attend a glittering business event addressed by top tycoons who included Sir Richard Branson.

The new network has been created by the Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (known as BIS) and  the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs, with the backing of computer software giant Intuit – the scheme will be known as Intuit 100Up.  Young entrepreneurs were invited to pitch their ideas in order to be included in the network. 

Richard Branson

The successful Huddersfield students were Jacob Hill, Matthew Mitchell and Jeff Postlethwaite – who are students on the University’s Enterprise Development degree course – plus Heather Lawrence, who is studying for a degree in photography and is taking an enterprise placement year, backed by the University’s Enterprise Team.

Now that they have been inducted into the Intuit 100Up, the Huddersfield quartet stand to benefit from the networking opportunities created by what is described as “a unique community of entrepreneurs at the beginning of their careers”.

And the first opportunity was a free ticket and overnight stay in Liverpool for a Global Entrepreneurship Congress that was attended by 3,000 people.

Among the speakers were Sir Richard Branson, dotcom pioneer Martha Lane Fox, ex-Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy and top politician Lord Heseltine, who is also a successful publisher.

Accompanying the Huddersfield students to the congress was John Thompson, who is the University of Huddersfield’s Professor of Entrepreneurship.

Intuit logo

The fact that the new network was being promoted by National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs was a very encouraging sign, he said.

“And the fact that at Huddersfield we have four out of 100 young entrepreneurs from throughout the country means that we are doing really well,” added Prof Thompson.

Heather, whose business is named Nicely Framed and which specialises in underwater photography, said: “There were a lot of positive and encouraging words from the speakers.  It was also great meeting other people who are either planning or running their own businesses.  Bouncing ideas about with others gave me lots of interesting thoughts on what I could do in the future.”

Matthew Mitchell is a software expert and has written a number of successful mobile phone apps. His current focus is on helping make on-line trading simpler and safer.  Jacob Hill’s business, The Lazy Camper, offers affordable tents and camping gear to festival goers.  Jeff Postlethwaite is behind a new style of fast food restaurant called Fasta Pasta, selected by the Huddersfield Examiner newspaper as one of  the local companies to compete for mentoring by Deborah Meaden from TV’s ‘Dragons’  Den’.  The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, Professor Bob Cryan, has been mentoring Jeff in preparation for the competition.

 

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