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Student entrepreneurs kick-start new businesses at ‘start-up bootcamp’

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Queen Mary held its first ‘enterprise bootcamp’ last week, as part of London Technology Week (16-20 June) – a week-long celebration of the city’s role as the digital capital of Europe. In partnership with the company 3 Day Startup (3DS), QMUL hosted 33 students from universities across the UK, working in teams to develop businesses from seed ideas to a formal pitch in front of an audience, over the course of just 72 hours.

Day one saw students arrive with individual business ideas to pitch to the group. A blind vote was carried out to select the seven most popular ideas, which were then developed over the next two days with the support of mentors from a range of different organisations, including Gumtree, Propercorn, UK Trade & Investment and app developers Pandapay. 3DS also flew a facilitator in from the United States with extensive experience in the start-up scene.

On day two students were tasked with conducting market research to refine their ideas. They took to the street, made calls, and knocked on the doors of Google Campus to quiz executives and get feedback on their plans.

Students spent day three finalising and rehearsing their pitches. They were presented on the evening of Thursday 19 June at Mother London in Shoreditch to a panel of judges, including QMUL Vice-Principal for Public Engagement Student Enterprise Professor Peter McOwan, and Fred Schmit, Austin-based serial entrepreneur.

Business ideas were primarily tech-based, including an app to gather ‘mood analytics’ and an app to support architects with property designs. QMUL hopes to support a number of businesses from the bootcamp to get started via Try It Enterprise Prize Funds.

Politics and Business Management student Matt Mahmoudi came to QMUL from Denmark in September 2013. Matt took part in 3 Day Startup with a new project - favourful, an app that challenges the way people use social networks. Find out more about Matt's experience and his project.

For more information about enterprise at QMUL, including Try It Enterprise Prize Funds, visit www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/students/enterprise/index.html.

For more information about 3 Day Startup, visit 3daystartup.org.

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