Start-ups on the Launchpad

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(l-r) Bill Roberts, Fin McCormick, Megan Roberts, Lizbeth Chandler and Charlii Testar

Falmouth University’s venture studio, Launchpad, is supporting six entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas as part of its inaugural Start-up Academy.

Students from both Falmouth and Exeter universities are getting paid over six weeks to develop their ideas. They are also benefiting from a series of masterclasses provided by the MSc Entrepreneurship team in design thinking, finance and marketing as well as pitch practice and an opportunity to network with the wider Launchpad community.

Business and Entrepreneurship student from Falmouth, Bill Roberts, is working on making quality CBD products more accessible to those who need it via his business Hush CBD.

Roberts came up with the idea for Hush CBD after undertaking research around stress and anxiety among students on the Penryn campus, as well as his own experience with anxiety and depression.

Hesaid: “I joined the academy to develop my business. The knowledge and experience I have gained through the course have given me the foundations to succeed. The next steps for Hush CBD are an event on campus promoting maintaining and improving well-being, along with a significant push on marketing and keeping high retention of consumers.”

The Good Robot Company founded by University of Exeter students Fin McCormick and Lizbeth Chandler, detects bias in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning systems.

McCormick completed his undergraduate dissertation on using AI in organisational management and realised there was a huge problem with biased and unethical output from AI that nobody seemed to be tackling. Having worked together as student reps during their studies at the University of Exeter Business School, he turned to Chandler to research this problem. She took her passions for maths, computer science and systems thinking to start developing a cutting-edge technological solution.

The duo validated their idea during the recent Techstars Startup Weekend at Launchpad, have continued to develop the technology through the Start-up Academy, and have just secured their first customers, securing strategic research partnerships with organisations throughout the UK.

Megan Roberts and Alex Fish, from Falmouth’s School of Film & Television, are working on 99Films, a community led film showcase, celebrating student work and opening opportunities for engagement and discussion. They are currently organising their debut event, which will test the minimum viable product for the concept.

MA Creative Advertising student Charlii Testar’s business idea is Boo Boo Finnegan Adventures, which creates children’s picture books for dads to read to their children, encouraging the development of emotional intelligence.

MSc Entrepreneurship Course Leader, Marcus Simmons, said: “We’ve really enjoyed having the start-up academy students attend some of our lectures and workshops. They’ve all been really keen to learn and have grasped the opportunity to see just how practical the MSc Entrepreneurship is in helping young entrepreneurs successfully develop their business ideas.”

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