The following current undergraduate students from one of the SETsquared Universities have been selected for the Best Student Start-up category.

The Underground Bookclub – University of Bath

We would like to nominate Andy Brown (a 5th Year student in Mechanical Engineering) and his company “The Underground Bookclub” for this award because it is one of the most exciting student businesses we have seen, created by a truly passionate and dedicated entrepreneur.

Andy’s business is a fortnightly Metro-style free magazine for commuters, but instead of news it features the first chapters of three new books. Revenue comes from advertising and commission from book retailers.

During the time he has developed and refined the concept, he has shown incredible determination, which resulted in him winning this year’s Business Plan Competition, and securing £5,000 in seed funding at our Dragon’s Den event. More recently, Andy has starred in an upcoming Apprentice-style TV show with his idea and has just been awarded £100,000 to launch the business. Trials with commence on the 16th April in London, with a plan to realise annual profits of £600K by the second year of trading.

Andy has really made best use of the resources available through the enterprise department at Bath, and has been a committed member of the society by participating in all major events throughout the year.

Frinting – University of Exeter

Student handout advertising.

We offer a freemium advertising channel to companies looking to reach students. The space available for sponsorship is the header and footer of each page of lecture handouts distributed to students in their classes, offering an outstanding method of reaching students that can be targetted by academic discipline, year or module.

Universities have stopped providing students with notes, there is a backlash against electronic devices in lecture theatres, the graduate labour market is very competitive for employers and graduates alike; these factors culminate in there being a clear need for our solution from both organisations and students.

Our innovative marketing medium effectively communicates a sponsor’s message to their targeted segment of students by offering a mutual benefit to students and sponsors. Students need lecture notes and companies are seeking effective advertising media to reach them.

Our market is vast. It encompasses all organisations wanting to market to students, e.g. graduate recruiters, student services companies, consumer goods producers and more. Many of these have large marketing budgets and currently employ campus marketing.

To sell our advertising we use direct selling key contracts and will be included in Exeter University’s sponsorship media pack for 2012-13 promoted nationally.


Gone Sailing – University of Southampton

We believe that surrounding yourself with a network of great people - people you can call friends - is the best way to maintain a happy and satisfied life.

Such a network of friends is commonplace amongst university students, who live and work in close proximity to each other. Students also have the luxury of relatively large amounts of free time to develop strong relationships with the people around them.

The contrast between university life and the life of the recent graduate in a big city can often be daunting, overwhelming and ultimately unsatisfying. We believe this is primarily due to the absence of a close network of friends.

At Gone Sailing we aim to build a university style club for recent graduates. Re-establishing the great network and close relationships they built at university, leading to a more fulfilling and happier life in the ‘real world’.

We do this by hosting great events in London on a regular basis and providing the means to escape the city and holiday with your new network of friends in the summer.

We’re the new social network for those who actually want to socialise.

It’s how life should be.


Label Noire – University of Surrey

Following an email marketing research campaign where we emailed 500 young individuals asking them what product appealed to them, clothing was chosen by over 40%. It was then agreed by me and my partner that we wanted to create a branded clothing company aimed at young people. Another issue we found was that people felt their artistic skills were wasted due to a turn in their career path and that’s when we decided to have young passionate artists as our designers who might not necessarily have the qualifications in arts/graphic designing. No other clothing brand offers this and we are specifically targeting 14-25 year old. We are currently growing the business by recruiting brand ambassadors who wear our clothing when they socialise and recommend the brand. We hope to increase the number of ambassadors over the next 2 years and get more people to know about Label Noire. We have launched an 80’s range on the website and are trying to secure a deal with where they would sell our products. We aim to trade mark the logo in the next year and develop our website to be more professional. We will be known as the STUDENT APPAREL!