An Edinburgh start-up that aims to tackle the waste issue in the UK by recycling materials into clothing is one of the 83 budding entrepreneurs participating in the Santander Universities Emerging Entrepreneurs programme for 2020.
James Marshall, who runs the fashion company 10T, has joined other talented entrepreneurs from Santander partner universities from across the UK on a business acceleration programme dedicated to supporting student and graduate start-ups.
James – who is in with a chance of receiving up to £30,000 of funding at a virtual pitching competition final in September – is an Edinburgh Napier alumni and has been receiving support from the University’s hub for enterprise and innovation, Bright Red Triangle.
Taking place across the summer months, the Santander Universities Emerging Entrepreneurs programme involves fortnightly webinars of online support sessions.
It is aimed at helping the emerging entrepreneurs understand how to get the most from their business and includes a unique educational experience led by a series of innovative businesses and speakers including Lesley Stonier, Founder, We Mean Business and Jeremy Snape, former international cricketer and Founder and Managing Director of Sporting Edge.
Alongside panel discussions and workshops, coaching and peer-to-peer learning, the programme also focuses on responding to key challenges and goals for start-ups during the current coronavirus crisis. Sessions so far have included topics such as: funding and finance; marketing and growing your brand on a budget; and pitching to investors.
James said: “Edinburgh Napier has provided a fantastic platform for young entrepreneurs that have studied there. There is so much support offered through the Bright Red Triangle. If this didn’t exist I would never have been given the opportunity to get on the Santander entrepreneurship programme. The Santander Entrepreneurship programme has been great to be a part of. They have pulled in so many different speakers to help support the business. Everything has been covered and they even take into consideration your personal wellbeing. I have enjoyed being part of it and I have learned so much. The next steps for 10T is our first product drop on the 10th of August. We are dropping lots of one off products and we are excited to show people what we have been up to.”
Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities UK commented: “We’re delighted to celebrate 10 years of supporting entrepreneurship with our dedicated new programme for student and graduate start-ups. Adapting to the current environment, our new digital offering will support young entrepreneurs with their innovative business ideas particularly in light of present-day challenges and ensure the immense array of entrepreneurial talent from across our partner universities all have a chance to pitch at the national final later in the year.”
Santander UK launched its 2020 Santander Universities Emerging Entrepreneurs programme in celebration of 10 years of supporting entrepreneurship. Semi-finals of the competition will run in September when all the emerging entrepreneurs will pitch for one of eight places in the final.
The live virtual final will take place on 29 September 2020, where the eight finalists will pitch to a panel of judges with two winning entries receiving £30,000 of seed funding each and a fully funded Santander intern.
This year the programme also includes a Crowdfunding challenge, where the businesses will have the chance to work with the team at Crowdfunder to create a campaign for their business and be in with a chance to receive a cash prize of £6,000, alongside any funds they may have raised during the challenge.
Since the competition launched in 2011, Santander Universities has awarded more than £500,000 in support of student start-ups across the UK and given universities the chance to showcase entrepreneurial talent from across the country. Overall, Santander Universities has provided over £2.5m of funding each year to support entrepreneurship at its 85 UK university partners.