Damiano La Rocca
Damiano La Rocca studied BA (Hons) Events Management at London Met's business school. Whilst studying Damiano became involved with Accelerator, the University's incubator which offers students guidance for turning their own ideas into a thriving business. Damiano used the advice and mentoring he received at Accelerator to start his own business, Seable. Seable creates active holidays for those with visual and physical impairments and continues to grow.
How did your student and learning experience at London Met help you in starting Seable?
I was given the tools and inspiration to start on my own rather than aim for a job as an employee. During my course, I took a module called Sustainable Tourism and that was my first time really looking into my topic. Later in my final year, I wrote my dissertation about accessible tourism and realised that there was a gap in the market and I wanted to understand why that was.
What was your own journey like from student to business owner?
In my final year, I submitted an idea to Accelerator and they approved it. Accelerator then gave me tools to start my business and the academic staff gave me skills such as how to undertake research and presentations.
At Accelerator you're able to work amongst other London Met entrepreneurs and start-up companies. How does this contribute to the atmosphere at the incubator?
The diverse background of the businesses keeps us up to date with the latest innovations in the different sectors, giving the basic knowledge for every part of the business and free advice from colleague entrepreneurs.
In addition to offering guidance from industry experts, Accelerator hosts regular events that focus on starting and running a business. Can you tell us about the advice and support you received at Accelerator and how you then applied this knowledge to Seable?
Some of the topics London Met runs form the basis of what to do when opening a business. Everyone should know a bit of sales, marketing and accountancy in order to start a business. It's also important to go to events and meet others to discuss your ideas.
What does the future hold for Seable?
To continue to grow and become the leading tour operator for blind and wheelchair users.
What would your advice be for London Met students with a business idea of their own?
Go out and talk about your idea. When you're meeting and talking to others, you may realise that something is missing or needs changing. Attend events and look out for services that are available on a pro-bono basis. Of course you find out about these things often through meeting others, even if they are different businesses or sectors, it always helps to discuss your ideas with others and make connections that way. Also, don’t wait until you have everything ready and lined up to start your business!