3 May 2016 16:34

A technology company founded by two enterprising Lancaster University students has been selected for a prestigious business tech accelerator programme.

Repairly, a technology company that provides a repair service for broken electronic gadgets such as phones and tablet computers, created by Fraser Williams and Thomas Young has been selected as one of only ten innovative start-ups to join one of the world’s leading technology accelerators - TechStars. A three-month process saw applications from 71 countries compete for the inaugural Virgin Media Accelerator.

The business accelerator is backed by Virgin Media, Liberty Global and Techstars and will be housed in a newly refurbished space in London. Repairly will also receive $120,000 investment from Virgin Media (Liberty Global Ventures) & TechStars.

As part of the programme Fraser Williams has met and travelled on a jet with Virgin boss Richard Branson and other inspirational business leaders, including the founder of Salesforce, as part of a visit to Silicon Valley.

Thomas Young, who was studying entrepreneurship and management at Lancaster before intercalating, said: “Getting into TechStars and receiving support from Virgin Media and Liberty Global is a huge boost for us. We’ve now grown from two people to a team of six. Four of us full time and two part time. We are growing fast and look forward to the future!”

Mr Young and Mr Williams, who are both intercalating for two years, were heavily involved in the entrepreneurial culture at Lancaster University and benefitted from support from the university’s Enterprise Team, which included advice, start-up workshops and funding (along with Lancashire County Council, Santander Universities and Lancaster University’s Department of Entrepreneurship, Strategy & Innovation) to visit Silicon Valley.

Simon Harrison, from Lancaster University Enterprise Team, said: “Tom and Fraser continue to amaze us with their achievements, but this is truly remarkable, especially given the massive amount of competition they were up against.

“Tom first approached us while he was still considering whether to study at Lancaster, to suss out the support he could expect to receive for a new digital marketing business he had set up.  Fraser joined in one of our bootcamps soon after he started, to explore the viability of an idea he had for the sports industry.

“They’ve both been on quite a journey but since finding each other, they’ve gone from strength to strength.  They’ve thrown themselves into the wider ecosystem of support here, engaging with us and with LUSU, the Innovation Hub and various societies – not just taking but giving back to other students too.  It’s great to see that Richard Branson recognises the potential of the Repairly idea and, most significantly, of Tom and Fraser themselves.

“There are countless opportunities on campus for students who want to play with ideas and make things happen.  There’s no single pathway; every student will find different ways to get value from the experience.  One thing we see time and time again though is that students who take time to develop their enterprise capabilities find themselves increasingly attractive to employers too.”

More information about TechStars is available by visiting http://www.techstars.com/.

To find out more about Lancaster University’s Enterprise Centre visit http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/enterprisecentre/..