Class of 2023 graduate Ben is using the fundamental skills learnt during his MSc in Entrepreneurship and Innovation to start his own business creating a personalised events platform.

How it started…

I came to Essex to study Entrepreneurship and Innovation, after completing a BSc in Mathematics and Economics at Newcastle University. My cousin studied here and had a great experience, so when I discovered the entrepreneurial support available, as well as the dedicated Master’s course, it seemed like the perfect fit for me.

The idea for my business first came to me while studying for my A Levels, but since coming to Essex it has evolved significantly as I’ve learnt theory in the classroom and developed a practical understanding with the Essex Startups team.

I am developing an events discovery and marketing platform. The purpose of the platform is to create a personalised experience for the user allowing events to be promoted directly according to interests and location, recommended by machine learning function. My initial focus is on the UK market, but my ambition is to make the product viable for international markets.

Working with Essex Startups…

At the beginning of 2023 I joined the evolve Accelerator Programme. This programme was extremely insightful, facilitating workshops with successful entrepreneurs for us to gain first-hand understanding of the opportunities and challenges they’ve encountered during their start-up journeys. It allowed me to consider the long-term goals for my business and examine how to effectively approach marketing. evolve also gave me the vital experience of producing a pitch deck before presenting to my peers, and then receiving constructive feedback to perfect the content and delivery.

Magdalena Mahdy, Essex Startups Entrepreneur-in-Residence, continues to mentor me as my business grows. She has been a great sounding board with idea generation and has offered some invaluable advice with low-cost alternatives to outsourcing technical development.

I am currently working on my business full-time and using Studio X as a base. Using this space allows me to access the support of my peers and that of the Essex Startups team when needed.

How it’s going…

I am building the first version (MVP) of the platform using low-cost software, which will allow me to demonstrate the basic workings to potential investors. My focus at this point is to begin reaching out to investors and getting event planning companies on board to populate the platform. Once I have funding in place, the next stage will be to invest in a more advanced phase of development than incorporates personalisation features.

Words of wisdom…

It’s an adventure. There will be ups and downs along the way, and to be successful you need to be adaptable and willing to pivot if a situation arises where it’s necessary.

Don’t be rigid to change, opportunities can arise when you least expect it.

Find out more

If you have a potential business idea, or are interested in developing your business skills, find out more about the training, events and support Essex Startups offers to current students and recent graduates.