Apply for free office space on campus!

Mind Your Own Business

Furness College’s ‘Mind Your Own Business’ scheme offers an entrepreneurial individual or team of students access to a dedicated office space, for use over the duration of a term. The space includes free use of a Mac computer.

Applications are welcome from individuals/groups of students from any college who are looking to develop or start a new commercial or social enterprise. Each term, Furness College holds a call for applications from interested students for the subsequent term. If students wish to use the space for more than one term, they will be required to reapply. Candidates will be invited to an interview to present their business ideas in week 10.

Current/previous occupants of the space have included Charles Rogers, founder of Cloudline queuing app and semi-finalist in this year’s Santander Entrepreneurship Awards and also, the Ikigai Factory team.

Applications close on the 17th of November at 3pm (download application form). If you have any further questions get in touch with the team in Furness College:

Startup Stories Online Now – Be Inspired

Read, listen and feel inspired by the entrepreneurial stories from our latest Startup Stories event

On the 17th of March, alumni entrepreneurs from three Colleges – County, Bowland and Furness told captivated audiences about their personal Startup Stories whilst live illustrators sketched out each journey.

Each story was unique and told an interesting (and not always straightforward) entrepreneurial journey. The stories along with their audio recordings and illustrations can be found now in our Startup Stories gallery.

The speakers involved were:

Bowland College

Alex Phillips, APPS – Wanting the freedom of doing his own thing and shaping his future on his own terms, Alex jumped straight in to setting up his own printing and promotions company in Lancaster. Starting off printing t-shirts 25 years ago, they continue to grow their brand and portfolio of products.

Ian Nelson, Adlib – From a PhD in Biological Sciences to travelling the world as a sound engineer, working with the likes of Placebo, Ed Sheeran, David Guetta and Ellie Goulding. Ian’s Startup Story reflects how a career can be formed naturally around your interests and hobbies.

Jon Price, Complete Care Ltd – The ideal story for those who want to help others or are interested in the marketing industry. Jon, former President of the Lancaster District Chamber of Commerce is founder of one of the UK’s largest online healthcare retailers, as well as having 10 years experience of running an online marketing agency.

County College

Damian Gray, The Bizarre –  From the weekly Alexandra Park farmers market to his own pop-up store in Manchester’s’ Northern Quarter, Damian’s clothing business continues to grow as he is beginning to explore new avenues for the future.

James Howard and James Short, Go Burrito – James & James share their recipe for success – how they built their local brand, Lancaster’s first burrito restaurant and earned themselves a dedicated burrito-loving following. It’s not all be plain sailing as they also address the tough year they’ve had picking up after Storm Desmond.

Tom Young, Repairly Ltd – Trips to Silicon Valley, admission to the Ignite 100 accelerator and now Virgin Media Techstars. Tom is living the entrepreneurial dream with business partner Fraser, as their business Reparily (bringing tech repairs to you) continues to grow and develop at an astonishing pace.

Furness College

Guy McEvoy, GuyKat Solutions Ltd – Former Furness JCR President, Guy McEvoy began his early adventures as a freelance nightclub promoter in Morecambe, a job which helped him pay for his Masters degree. That was only the start – he is now CEO of GuyKat Solutions Ltd, providing e-learning solutions to organisations across 50 countries.

Helen Loftus, Critical Transitions – Despite a degree in physics, Helen’s passion for sport, fitness and personal training led her to  start her own successful personal training business with contracts with every major fitness operator in Leeds, as well as being the strength and condition coach for Leeds City Swim team.

Lucy James, Quarsh Ltd – Lucy shares with us how 15 years of experience and a deep understanding of the recruitment industry enabled her to start Quarsh, her own fast-growing recruitment company.

To stay in touch about this and future opportunities please register on the Enterprise Team mailing list.

SPOILER ALERT! Nine short stories to inspire your career

Speakers announced for March edition ofStartup Stories


Three simultaneous events. Nine alumni storytellers. Which tale is going to inspire you to make things happen? Open to all students, whether you’re an undergraduate, masters or PhD, and regardless of your college.

Startup Stories is back and next Thursday, 17th March from 6.15pm, you have the chance to hear from Lancaster alumni who have made the transition from nine-to-fivers to successful entrepreneur and master of their own career paths. Whether you’re a 90s music fan (Placebo anyone?), an aspiring fitness freelancer, have a passion for fashion or are a future Mark Zuckerberg, this is an event for you.

This is open house for all students and powered by the County, Bowland and Furness. Any student from any college can attend – just pick the college with the alumni stories that interests you most. There’s free food for advance bookings and certificates will be provided for the Lancaster Award for all Target Connect registrations who sign in on the evening. Following Start up Stories, each College is holding their own Social in their JCR – check their Facebook pages for full details.

Tell me more!

Here’s the line up; take a look, work out who you’d like to meet, and book your place via the links provided. You don’t need to be a college member, just sign up!

Bowland College will be hosting:

Ian Nelson, Adlib

PhD Biological Science, 1993

Do you want a career in the music industry or sound engineering? Former Lancaster student Ian Nelson has toured the world with English alternative rock band Placebo and in his current role continues to work with the most respected names in the music industry including Ed Sheeran, David Guetta and Ellie Goulding. Find out how his passions have helped him to enjoy a successful career in music, whilst studying for a PhD in Biological Science… not your typical career path!

Alex Phillips, APPS

BSc Psychology, 1991

Alex Phillips never wanted to be 9-5. He wanted the freedom to do his own thing and shape the future on his own terms. He jumped straight from graduation to setting up his own printing and promotion company here in Lancaster, APPS. From printing t-shirts 25 years ago, they continue to grow their brand and portfolio of products. We hear on the grapevine he’s a bit of a comedian too…

Jon Price, Complete Care Ltd

BA Hons Independent Studies, 1993

If you’re passionate about helping people and supporting them to live life to the full, you might be interested to hear what inspired Bowlander Jon Price to start his company, Complete Care, one of the UK’s largest online healthcare retailers. A former President of the Lancaster District Chamber of Commerce, Jon also has 10 years experience of running an online marketing agency; his is a story which will be full of learning and inspiration for students wanting a career in helping others, as well as the marketing industry.Bowland full marque - red

Book your place at Bowland here.

County College will be hosting:

James Howard, Go Burrito

BA Hons Philosophy, 1997

If you’re a fan of Go Burrito (and let’s face it who isn’t?!) you don’t want to miss James Howard and his burrito business partner (and former Fylde student). They’ll share their recipe for success and how they built their local brand and Lancaster’s first burrito restaurant; hear their philosophy and where the business will go in the future. Take a sneak peek at their story here.

Tom Young, Repairly

BA Hons Management and Entrepreneurship, tbc

The startup story Tom Young will share is a tale all entrepreneurial students can learn from. If you’re a subscriber to our newsletter, you’ll have read about Tom and his trip to Silicon Valley, as well as his admission on to the accelerator scheme, Ignite100 in October last year. Tom was dabbling in the business world long before his University days and as a qualified IT engineer, web developer and multiple business owner, he’ll have real insights into what it’s like to be a student AND a successful entrepreneur. You might even get to hear about Repairly’s latest exciting news… (hint: it involves Richard Branson, Virgin Media and a private jet in San Francisco…)

Damian Gray, The Bizarre

BA Hons Theatre Studies, 2014

If you haven’t spotted the potential of the Alexandra Square weekly farmers market as a place to bring your ideas to life, come and take a lesson from County College’s Damian Gray. He launched a successful clothing business during his second year of University and now owns and runs ‘The Bizarre’ in Manchester’s Northern Quarter where he stocks 10 independent brands as well as his own t-shirts.


Book your place at County here

Furness College will be hosting:

Guy McEvoy, GuyKat Solutions Ltd

LL.M International Law & International Relations, 1997

Former Furness JCR President Guy McEvoy began his early adventures as a freelance nightclub promoter in Morecambe, a job which helped him to pay for his Masters degree. Now the CEO of GuyKat Solutions Ltd, Guy’s business services clients across 50 countries and employs recent graduates… could you be the next?

Lucy James, Quarsh

BA Hons Modern Languages, 1998

If HR and recruitment is your thing, or if you want the chance to meet someone who recruits across a number of sectors then Furness college alumna Lucy James is someone worth hearing from. Lucy will share how 15 years of experience and a deep understanding of the recruitment industry enabled her to start her own fast growing recruitment company, Quarsh.

Helen Loftus, Critical Transition

BSc Hons Physics, 2003

Despite her degree in Physics, a passion for sport, fitness and personal training led Helen Loftus to start up her own hugely successful personal training business with contracts with every major fitness operator in Leeds, as well as being the strength and conditioning coach for Leeds City Swim Team. If, like Helen, you have a keen interest in the health and fitness industry why not seek her advice on how to develop your passion into a business?


Book your place at Furness here

We hope to see you there!

If you have any questions regarding Startup Stories please get in touch. Although these are college based activities, students from other colleges are free to attend this round of storytelling events.. the more the merrier!