New business ideas grown in Newcastle

By John Cornilious – Student Enterprise Ambassador, and Stage 3 Biomedical Sciences

Newcastle University showcased some of its up and coming entrepreneurs at the 2018 Start Up Business Expo. Student Enterprise Ambassador John went along to meet the innovators (including one of our School of Biomedical Sciences alumni) and to find out how the University supports new business ideas. Hear what he found out at the event and about some of the interesting entrepreneurs he met.

Stage 3 Biomedical Sciences Student John Cornilius, the Schools' Student Enterprise Ambassador

Stage 3 Biomedical Sciences Student John Cornilious, the Schools’ Student Enterprise Ambassador

Start Up Business Expo – what is it?

I recently attended the 2018 Start Up Business Expo event and spoke to graduate and undergraduate entrepreneurs materialising their ideas to solve modern societal problems. The event organised by the Enterprise Team (Careers Service) was quite short, with only an hour to visit over 15 stands blooming with innovative ideas (and consume as much free snacks as possible). The spectrum of concepts was quite diverse; solving problems such as making affordable flashy jewellery, to reduction of food wastage, from curing boredom with an apparently unexplored genre of music (Disco-House), to promoting travel in the land of Bulgaria.

Students and graduates solving problems

The exhibitors spoke of their businesses with such enthusiasm and it inspired faith in their idea and suggested sufficient research of market-gaps. For example, the anti-food waste company, Food Bonder, has developed an App for users to scan the barcodes of their groceries, which logs the expiry date of the scanned item and sends the user notifications as the date approaches. Wonderful, right? And, because the App “knows” what is in your kitchen, it can find recipes for what the user has in their kitchen. This way users don’t let food waste away simply because they don’t know what to use it for!

The Food Bonder team lead by Daniel (far left)
The Food Bonder team lead by Daniel (far left)

I also met Deyan, the Bulgarian travel specialist, who enlightened me on how affordable it was to travel to Bulgaria, whilst giving me an awareness of the importance of public knowledge. Many people skip Bulgaria as a holiday destination because they are unaware of or cannot find enough information.

Deyan has sought out to be the “not-a-travel-agent” travel agent; showcasing his motherland with sprinkles of travel secrets that will make you regret your last vacation destination if it was not Bulgaria!

SBMS graduate success

By talking with the Expo teams, I learnt about some of the challenges that young Entrepreneurs face. A lot of insight was shared about what resources would be needed to recognise and overcome obstacles. I met Ngozi who is on the NCL Start-Up Entrepreneurship program and runs her own haircare business called Gozi Haircare.

Ngozi detailed her account of balancing studies, job-hunting and applying for the Entrepreneurship program during her final year of Biomedical Sciences at Newcastle (something I can easily relate to with my situation). Through meeting Ngozi, I discovered new ways to deal with the stress and frustrations that come along with growing your business idea.

Natural hair products produced by Gozi Haircare
Natural hair products produced by Gozi Haircare

Networking (getting to meet people)

A great advantage of this event was networking with all the young talent present. People around my age chasing a reality of their dreams, believing in themselves and receiving support from the University. A fruitful occasion indeed!

Enterprising opportunities at Newcastle

If you’re a Newcastle University students and want to learn more about developing your ideas into your own business, see the Start Up webpages. Keep an eye out for more updates from John about enterprise opportunities and activities. To develop your enterprising studies within the school, contact Carys Watts; Senior Lecturer in Enterprise, and take a look at the Business Enterprise for the Bioscientist module.

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