Start-up Story: UniYap

If there’s one thing that students love to do, it’s socialize. However, there is a distinct lack of platforms for students to communicate on. At the beginning of a meeting, I briefly discuss this issue, following up with the solution: UniYap. UniYap’s features include channels and instant messaging that are likeable to group chats dedicated to societies, courses, sports team etc.

I am not new to the entrepreneurial space. Over the last year, I have been building an app-based business called BackTracker. With my trips between Leicester and London, my meetings with accelerators and venture capitalists, it’s safe to say that I have seen the ups and downs. I taught myself to program iOS apps which kicked this all off. As a result, I spent a lot of time on the technical side – when it comes to business and marketing aspects for UniYap, I have fully utilized the enterprise team and the space around the city.

Uniyap

UniYap branding

With a total of £500 won at Pitch2Win, from a monthly win and a runner-up in the finals, you would be surprised how far that can go. This has enabled all the technical aspects which cost to get up and running along, with setting out a marketing budget. All of this would not be possible without the money. Not only monetary value was taken away from Pitch2Win, most importantly, it was the connections I made with other contestants. I also received guidance and support from the enterprise team at DMU – something you can’t put a price on.

Going forward, I am going to follow what is known as the LEAN model. This is where I make the basic functioning product and gain data to validate my ideas from getting new users on board. With my sights firmly set on Leicester, the plan is to get every Leicester student to use the product and expand nationally with that data.

The one thing that has stuck with me after only a short journey on the entrepreneurial road is that you can’t do it alone. Hold on to the people you meet and go out of your way to meet the rest. If I was to talk with someone starting their journey now, I would explain that someone has done this before you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You may fail along the way, but that just makes the win all that much better.

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