Entrepreneurship is defined as the process of the designing, launching and running a small business such as a start-up company. University of Dundee provides you with all necessary opportunity to help you achieve that goal. Let me share my unexpected discovery, and how a group of friends and I developed our very own business!
The team consists of four people: 1) Jay –The brain behind the operation; he owns a web development and design company back in Singapore. He is the one who takes care of all the main coding and developmental work in our business. He has the technical know hows to do almost anything! 2) Javious – The face of the operation; a great salesperson and our field officer in reaching out to as many customers as possible 3) Callista – The heart of the operation; she helps us in designing graphic designs, logos, banners and takes care of the customer feedback and relations 4) Myself (Navin) – The legs of the operation; I take care of the financial and logistical issues of the business including book keeping and helping in the sales and customer acquisitions. We all have owned businesses back in Singapore and found each other in Dundee, because of our common interest to own a successful business right here in Dundee
To be fair, we did not pursue this idea because of the competition but truth be told the competition played a significant role in driving us towards our goal. The first one we took part in was the Enterprise Challenge. Sponsored by the Centre of Entrepreneurship, University of Dundee, the competition was an 8 week workshop which ended with a business pitch competition for a first place seed fund of £1,500. In the 8 week workshop, we learnt a lot of invaluable knowledge about marketing, market analysis, revenue model and employee management.
My team members were already very knowledgeable about these aspects and it was very natural for us to gain traction and build our business idea into an actual business. We came up with our first business idea: TextRobyn. It was an app-based service provider. To put it simply, it is like Uber but for doing any mundane services and it was for students and only for students strictly.
Our business idea was already almost in action, just a click away from posting it on the Android App Market and Apple App store. We presented our idea to a panel of judges last semester in the Enterprise Challenge and won!
(duh….) We impressed the audience and judges with our team chemistry and business ingenuity (not bragging, I am simply paraphrasing the judges). We then went to get our idea endorsed and approved by the DUSA so that we can roll it out in Dundee University.
Unfortunately, our idea was not approved. The panel believed in the business idea but was doubtful about the security liabilities due to the business. We fought back hard but believed that it will be better to accept what the panel thought and focus on the core idea of the business – web and app development.
That’s how we came up with our new idea: RIOGA DESIGNS. We then used this idea to join the next business pitch competition – Venture. It was a lot bigger and a lot more money involved in it.
The silver lining:
Though our first idea was a bust, RIOGA designs showed lot more potential as it was a very straight forward business concentrating on website and app development. On top of that we thought we should use our resources and ‘technical know hows’ to help come up with online e-portfolio for design students especially architecture student from as low as £11/month. I mean, from what we have researched that is very low! On top of that we also wanted to help create websites for the societies in Dundee University. So far we have created and launched the Dundee Investment Society and many more to come. (A special shout out for the investment society – great people who help students in understanding the intricacies of investment and business management).
These were just ways in which we are giving back to the school which gave us the opportunity to come up with these ideas. These are ideas to help the students on top of our core business which is to develop websites and smart phone application for businesses and services at a more competitive rate than any other web development company in Dundee or around. We have a lower opportunity and operational cost and aim to provide our customers more value by being accessible and entertaining flexible terms either with regards to payment or development.
With the idea ready and our cliental list ready, we pitched our idea to a panel of 5 judges in the Venture Competition sponsored by more companies and organised by the Centre of Entrepreneurship and Dundee Business School and the University. We won! (again duh…) We now had seed fund from the university and now it is all on us to use the funds properly to market and build our business. We hope to build this business and maybe make this a source of income for ourselves.
Check us out:
[button link=”http://riogadesigns.com/” type=”big” newwindow=”yes”] RIOGA DESIGNS Website[/button] [button link=”https://www.facebook.com/riogadesigns/” type=”big” newwindow=”yes”] RIOGA DESIGNS FB page[/button]
[button link=”https://www.facebook.com/UoDEnterprise/” color=”blue” newwindow=”yes”] Centre of Entrepreneurship[/button] [button link=”https://www.facebook.com/Uodinvestmentsociety/” color=”blue” newwindow=”yes”] UoD Investment Society[/button] [button link=”https://www.dundee.ac.uk/entrepreneurship/” color=”blue” newwindow=”yes”] Other Business Competitions[/button]
Reflections of Week 5
Working on a business is not easy, and trust me when I say that. I am now managing my medical school, my business back in Singapore, the new one in Dundee while being part of several societies. It is definitely not easy, people think I have got everything under control but I am nowhere near ideal. However, I do not think I am spreading myself thin or not giving anyone of the aspects stated above my all. As a student it is important for us to be able to do it all, and, in my opinion, trying to run a business is one of the things everyone should try. The best part is that there are tonnes of opportunity in the university; all you have to do is just look for them. The Enterprise club and the Centre of Entrepreneurship are great places to start. They organise so many workshops and business competitions, it is hard to not be part of it. If there are any entrepreneurs or wanna-be investors out there, be sure to follow the Dundee Investment Society Facebook page and join them in the 4 week workshop series on stock trading (which is happening now) every Wednesday in the Dalhousie building.
It is tough but I am glad I am doing this and I am grateful for the University for providing me with the opportunity to truly do it all. Finding the entrepreneur in me was my unexpected discovery in Dundee, and I hope my story can inspire you to be one too (feel free to comment or ask any questions below) I hope to make sure our ideas work out because honestly, how hard can it be?