London Met entrepreneurs get hands-on experience at the Accelerator.
Date: 11 August 2015
London Met’s Launchpad is an intensive 12 week programme that helps students develop their business idea and, if it’s viable, supports them in producing a business plan
Launchpad offers entrepreneurs office space, specialist business advice and mentoring, as well as access to software, events, workshops, and important networking opportunities.
Open to London Met students and recent graduates, 35 entrepreneurs with 25 business ideas were selected from dozens of applications to start the programme earlier last month.
The start of the programme has focused the entrepreneurs on exploring their business ideas and getting to know their markets. The participants went out in to the real world and interview potential customers.
Lorraine Gallagher, a BSc Human Nutrition student who graduated from London Met last month, said: “The Launchpad Programme offers us an amazing opportunity to be surrounded by experts and successful entrepreneurs, and benefit from their advice and knowledge.”
Lorraine’s business idea is to open a seaweed farm in Ireland, filling a significant gap in the market.
“When you have an idea, you get so caught up in how amazing it is, and you won’t hear a word against it”, she added, “so it is really important to talk to other people about your idea, and get feedback from experts.
“I have always been quite creative, but entrepreneurship is not only about creativity. I got to learn a lot about the business side of things, and everyone has been really supportive, taking me step by step through the thought process, and challenging my idea to make it better.”
Other business ideas being supported by Launchpad include a business making unique jewellery designs, a company promoting healthy alternatives to traditional desserts, and an idea to develop a waterless carwash that uses bio-chemicals that are non-toxic and biodegradable.
Farzana Khan, a Sociology student behind the carwash idea, said: “I have really enjoyed the programme so far. Coming here in the morning doesn’t feel like work, and I have learned a lot already.”
Other students also commended the programme, saying that “it has been brilliant” and “it has really helped me structure my approach and look at my idea from a different perspective.”
The remaining weeks of the programme will look at things like competitors, finances, pitching, and even taking a practical approach to testing business ideas out in the real world.