Welcoming BRT’s Start-Up Interns

June 9, 2017

Recently we ran a competition for Edinburgh Napier students and recent graduates to apply to participate in our prestigious six week Start-up Internship Programme. Each applicant was required to explain their business idea and the work that they would undertake to develop their idea during the programme if they were successful. Successful applicants were promised a payment of £2,500, the opportunity to participate in our BRT Fitness Programme, receive business advice and support from our BRT Incubator Managers, and have access to our business incubator space at Edinburgh Napier’s Merchiston campus! Of course, limited spaces were available, which made the competition tough.

Our team would like to thank everyone who applied to participate in our BRT Start-up Internship Programme. We received an overwhelming amount of interest in the programme, and the applications received were all of a high standard. To say the least, we were impressed, which made judging and selecting participants a challenging process.

Nonetheless, on Monday 5 June 2017, we were delighted to welcome our 2017 Start-up Interns to our incubator space at Merchiston campus where Nick Fannin (Head of BRT) inducted the group into our BRT community and explained what they should expect for the following weeks. We are extremely excited to be working with you all and look forward to seeing where this entrepreneurial journey will take each of you.

By way of introduction, we are delighted to tell you about a few of our successful applicants and their business ideas that they’ll be developing throughout their BRT Start-up Internships. Take a read below of each of their profiles, and click the links to check out their work online.

Adrián Vázquez – The Twenty Seven

Adrián is a freelancer, based in Edinburgh, but has the potential to work with clients all over the world given his speciality of web design and development. During the internship, Adrián will work as a freelancer developing e-commerce sites, web applications, and web solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. At the end of the BRT’s Start-Up Internship, Adrián would like to present his business plan for the next year, and develop his brand for a bright future.

Ashley Nairn – A Nairn Designs

Ashley has created a home rehabilitation device for people who suffer from lower back pain called ‘Core’. He hopes that his time spent with BRT this summer will help guide him down the necessary routes to taking his product to market and into the homes of people who need it. You can check out some of his work, here.

Calvin Brown – Calvin Brown Design

Calvin has designed Buddy – a therapy product for Autistic children who experience sensory overload. Sensory Overload is when an autistic person experiences too much sensory information at one time, causing the autistic person to go into a state of meltdown. To calm down, autistic children are taken to a room called the sensory room. The sensory room consists of therapy tools like vibrating floors and lights. The main function of Buddy is to bring the sensory room to the user rather than the user to the sensory room. Buddy is portable and can fit in the user’s pocket, so they can remain ‘calm on the go’.

During the Start-up Internship programme, Calvin plans to follow-up on interest from potential investors and clients he met during Edinburgh Napier University’s ‘More than a degree show’. He has had offers to help develop the product and produce it, which he is going to follow up on. He is also going to contact potential clients such as Rangers Football club and Hibernian Football club, who have plans to build a sensory room in their own stadiums. Furthermore, Calvin will be in contact with charities and schools such as Bright Sparks and Autism Scotland, to increase interest in the product and take it to market. You can check out more of Calvin’s work on Instagram and his Behance profile.

Colin Macrae – Mlungu Media 

Colin Macrae is behind Mlungu – social storytellers, digital connectors and creative instigators. Mlungu creates digital content designed for social media and develops strategy to maximise impact across social channels. They also like to have fun.

During BRT’s Start-up Internship the company founder will be working on, amongst other things, a video content creation and social media activation campaign for Oxjam Edinburgh Takeover 2017. A multi venue festival that raises funds for Oxjam. You can check out Mlungu on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and LinkedIn.

Kate Henderson – Embrace

Kate has designed a product called the Embrace Sleeper which was designed in response to the lack of storage for belongings on refugee camps. It incorporates a thermal sleeping mat and storage system for personal belongings into one roll-up unit.  Kate’s business proposal would be to produce a retail version of the Embrace Sleeper which could be sold in the UK for commercial uses such as camping and festivals whilst also being suitable for use in humanitarian aid and for the homeless community. During the six-week Start-up Internship Kate will develop the materials to adapt the product for outdoor use. She will also find potential customers and develop an online presence.

Martina Zupan – Colleggtion

Martina is behind Colleggtion – a series of compostable disposable tableware made from eggshell waste that is generated by industrial egg processors. Due to the current laws and regulations they are obliged to send their eggshell waste to landfill, costing them a large amount of money and harming the environment.

Colleggtion aims to replace non-recyclable disposable items and can after use be composted and with the help of anaerobic digestion turned into a fertiliser.
As Martina said, “This internship will help me take project further and bring the Colleggtion a step closer to getting in onto the kitchen tables.” You can also connect with Colleggtion on Facebook here.

Sydney Chasin – lil’POP The Healthy Crop

Sydney is behind lil’POP The Healthy Crop – a healthy snack food company specialising in popped sorghum, which looks like miniature popcorn, but is made with a super-grain that is better for the environment and better for you.

During the BRT Start-up Internship Sydney plans on dedicating her focus to scaling up production with third party manufacturers and taking the initial pink salt flavour to market. You can also check out lil’POP The Healthy Crop on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


Keep an eye on our blog and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube) for updates on how our Interns progress! We’re extremely excited to be able to support the group on their individual entrepreneurial journeys, and look forward to working everyone over the next six weeks and beyond.

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