“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
Last year, final year BA Hons Management & Entrepreneurship student, Charles Rogers, received funding from the Lancaster University Enterprise Fund in order to develop his startup, Cloudline. Cloudline is an app based platform which enables users to queue for nightclubs, without actually standing in line. Here he shares an update on Cloudline and what’s changed for him in recent months.
Since the funding a lot has happened for Cloudline. We have been rolling out to The Deltic Group’s clubs. We’ve encountered a few issues along the way but we’ve been able to get around these one way or another. Working with The Deltic Group has attracted the attention of other companies such as Merlin Entertainment who we’re currently in talks with, as well as several airports in Europe. We’ve taken onboard a new team member, Florian Wiedmann, former employee of EY. As of March we have been raising a seed funding round for £250,000, of which we have completed 50% of the round. The money will go towards employing two more programmers, a programmatic marketer and moving the project down to London.
The funding enabled me to draft a terms & conditions document with Stephen Wright from Morecambe’s Wright & Lord solicitors, enabling us to have a legal contract to sign between each business we implement the app with. It also helped us to learn the process of drafting legal documents with a lawyer, a valuable skill for the future. The validation of Santander standing behind this project has also considerably helped gain interest from potential clients and get meetings.
As a result of the above, we have been able to gain confidence from investors to secure funding and I have been able to meet with highly experienced people in the entertainment and app development industries. These factors have all had knock on effects which in turn have lead to more investor interest and further meetings with industry experts to help us refine our product and to explore different potential avenues which this project can go down. As things currently stand we will be moving to London mid June and couldn’t be more excited for the future of this project.
The Lancaster University Enterprise Fund is available through our partnership with Santander Universities. If you’re interested in applying for a maximum of £500, find out more here.
Get plugged into Lancaster’s Digital network
Digital Lancaster are hosting a free networking event on Thursday 29th of March at The Borough on Dalton Square, to talk all-things digital and help bring like-minded people together. Digital Lancaster are part of Digital Lancashire, a not-for-profit community interest company aiming to accelerate the growth of the digital economy within Lancashire. This is a great opportunity for any budding digital entrepreneurs in the city!
You can register your attendance through Eventbrite.
’10 trends, tech breakthroughs and social movements for the year ahead’
Innovation foundation Nesta have made some predictions for the coming year in terms of tech breakthroughs and social movements. Predictions include drones delivering public benefit, Artificial Intelligence creating prize winning art, the internet going green, tech giants racing to buy a healthcare provider and the increased use of complex simulation methods to experiment with new ideas.
You can read the full article on Nesta’s website.
Making your app stand out against the competition
The UK app economy is estimated to be worth about £83bn by 2021, but with almost 1,000 apps submitted to the app store each day competition is high. A recent article in The Guardian spoke to a number of bestselling app producers to see what they thought was needed to make a successful app.
It is evident that marketing is a crucial factor which can make all the difference, with developers sometimes spending too much on producing the perfect app rather than prioritising their marketing budget.
Utilising and building a network of users, testers, tech journalists and investors before launching is also mentioned as important to getting an app out there.
Other points discussed in the article include framing the purpose and function of the app with a story you can tell and the advantages of using a Freemium model.
To read the full article, please visit The Guardian’s website.
Do you have an app idea? Want help developing a marketing plan or building up your network? Get involved in Enterprise Team Labs!
If you’ve engaged in Enterprise & Innovation support through us previously, you are probably wondering what’s happened to the Wednesday IdeasLab and Thursday StartupLab sessions.
We found that so many people were bringing new ideas, having just a couple of fixed-time drop-in sessions per week wasn’t giving everyone enough time and space to get the attention they needed
So, this year we’re opening up more slots and letting you call the shots on when they should happen. We’re still calling them Labs, but there are now lots of different Lab types to choose from.
How does it work?
The idea is simple – we’ll help you put together a personalised development programme and you work through it at your own pace. Whenever you’re ready to work on something new, you book a Lab session and we’ll supply the space, the know-how, the resources, and, where appropriate, bring in like-minded collaborators.
To make this work though, there are a couple of other things that have changed.
- Firstly, before you start ‘dropping in’, we’ll ask you to register or re-register by completing a short Registration Form so we can get you into the system.
- Secondly, we’ll book you in for a 1-2-1 chat (called an IntroLab) so we can find out more about you, what you are trying to achieve and what you are looking for right now.
- Thirdly, we’ll get you underway so you can start putting together your bespoke development programme from our new menu of different Lab types. Regardless of what you are working on or where you are up to, there’ll be something for you.
To get started right away, please complete the Registration Form.
To find out more about Labs, please visit this page.
Founders’ Network: The Summit Event
Tech North are hosting an exciting conference aimed at all tech startup founders in the North of England. The Summit will take place on the 2nd of March 2017 in Sheffield. It brings world-class educators and speakers to the North of England for a day full of entrepreneurial education and peer-to-peer learning.
The day will take the form of a ‘pick-and-mix’ style conference, allowing you to tailor the day to suit your needs and stage of business. There will be practical workshops, one-to-one mentoring sessions with experienced entrepreneurs and a peer-to-peer unconference.
You can find our more about the event here and book at ticket through their Eventbrite page.
Coding for Non Coders lecture
Countless students around the world have an idea they want to turn into a startup. Many of these students need a software developer to make this dream a reality.
These students run into a catch 22. The best way to meet a coder is to be a coder oneself.
Coding for Non-Coders, a one hour lecture given by 3 Day Startup’s Maia Patrick Donohue, is designed to help non-technical startup founders understand the basics of software development. The lecture covers UI/UX, coding languages 101, and the essentials of wire framing.
When? Monday 14th Nov, 4pm-5pm (HINT: that’s today!)
Where? Learning Zone, Pod 3-4
How? Sign up to the event via TargetConnect.
This event is part of Make It Happen.
Aidan Watt, technical director at Hotfoot Design has written an article for the Lancashire Business View which helps to simply explain why Apps may not be the best use of resources for SMEs. The launch of the Apple App Store in 2008 transformed the digital dimension, but really how many of these apps are actually used? How many businesses benefit from them?
To read more click here.
Tech Startup Panel – Monday 16th November, 3.30pm – 5pm
Hear from those who have brought their mobile apps and other digital developments to life, won investment or found ways to generate income from their tech skills.
- Time: 3.30pm – 5pm
- Location: Green Lane, Big Room
- Pathway: Entrepreneurship
- Lancaster Award points: 5pts
What’s this event about?
If you’ve ever had an idea for an app, wondered how your coding skills might help a tech startup, or identified an online business opportunity but need help from a developer to make it happen, then this event is for you. You will hear from a range of people who have done all these things and more.
It’s also a great chance to find other students with complimentary skills, ideas, or contacts that you can buddy up with and boost your progress to achieving your tech vision.
[Panel members to be confirmed soon]
Sign up here.
Did you know all our Make It Happen events are now on Target Connect?
Silicon Valley is the place to be for tech start ups
In April 2015, LU students Tom Young and Fraser Williams, went on a trip of a lifetime to San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
Meetings with venture capitalists, visits to Google and Stanford University, and even breakfast outside Twitter, the pair made the most of their fantastic opportunity in the Californian city and are willing to share their experience and advice on pitching, networking and entrepreneurship.
Tom and Fraser’s trip was sponsored by several groups who they wish to thank:
“Our trip was funded through four sources, which we’d like to extend our highest gratitude to. Santander Universities, Lancaster University Enterprise Centre, Lancashire County Council and Lancaster University’s Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development – thank you!”
To read about what the pair got up to in San Francisco and what they learnt on the way, access Fraser’s blog here.