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His Royal Highness The Duke of York met with key representatives from the University’s Student Startup team, when he visited The Deck at the Streatham Campus on Monday, February 18.
The Deck is the University’s dedicated space for startups and entrepreneurial creation where the Student Startup team identifies and fosters the pioneering entrepreneurial ambitions of Exeter students and graduates.
The experienced team and tailored space enables student and recent graduate entrepreneurs to develop their ideas and grow their business, while still receiving renowned support from the University of Exeter. This includes: mentoring, access to grant funding, workshops, events and training sessions across all the University’s disciplines and campuses.
During the visit, HRH was met by the University’s Registrar, Mike Shore-Nye, SETsquared Exeter Centre Director Joe Pearce and Emily Davies, Student Start-up Manager and winner of Best Employability Support at the recent Exeter Teaching Awards.
The Duke was then introduced to a group of Exeter students who are enrolled on the programme, who showcased their emerging businesses.
They included Max Greenbury, a second year Economics and Finance student, who gave a presentation for his startup MG Vintage, which uses a monthly subscription model to rent vintage clothing, and also includes a social enterprise element to give back to the local community.
Recent Physics graduate Duncan Lyster showcased his pioneering company Lyster Surfcraft, designing high performance hollow wooden surfboards, hand-built using a combination of paulownia, cork, and aircraft-grade plywoods.
Olivia Horncastle, a Geography graduate, and qualified personal fitness trainer, is currently developing a startup called Mighty Lifts – an online course using movement and exercise to improve people’s low mood and anxieties. Olivia is currently trialling a 6-week course with 20 participants, using an online platform called Podia.
Semyon Germanovich, an Engineering graduate has developed Voltaire, a digital cash exchange with the mission of allowing merchants to accept cryptocurrencies in-store, online or via invoice using world-class Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).
Speaking after the event, Mr Pearce said: “We were absolutely delighted to be able to welcome His Royal Highness to the University of Exeter. The Duke has been a long-standing advocate for the UK’s entrepreneurial talents, and it was a wonderful opportunity to be able to share some of the innovative and original business ideas that have been put in place by our students.”
The visit was part of HRH’s tour of the city, which included the Met Office and Exeter College, to promote The Duke’s Pitch@Palace initiative.
HRH founded Pitch@Palace in 2014 to provide a platform to amplify and accelerate the work of entrepreneurs. It now operates in 59 countries and has helped 785 Entrepreneurs in its Alumni network to create 3,669 new jobs and generate over £890 million of new economic activity.
Pitch@Palace guides, helps and connects entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses with potential supporters, including CEOs, Influencers, Angels, Mentors and Business Partners.
Image courtesy of Steve Haywood
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