Apr 2013 29

First off, thanks for all the entries to the CUE 5K competition! We will keep you updated on a separate post.

Now, another exciting announcement: we are looking for a team of 4 students to participate in NACUE’s Student Apprentice competition in Coventry this weekend (4th-5th May).

Teams will have to complete three tasks: selling, consulting and business planning. It will be a great opportunity to show all you’ve learned throughout the CUE competition, interact with other university entrepreneurs from the East of England and meet potential future mentors. The winning team will go on to the National competition in London for a chance to win £5000 (and national publicity).

If you’re interested, please email maria.maldonado@cue.org.uk with the names of the 4 team members and a short paragraph on why you think you’d make the best National Student Entrepreneur Apprentices, by Wednesday 1/5 5pm.

For testimonials of previous competitions, please see http://www.nacue.com/2012/12/kclbc-apprentice-final-my-experience/

Thank you!

Apr 2013 16

GeoSpock founder and CEO Steve Marsh

(Steve Marsh, CEO of GeoSpock and CUE Entrepreneur of the Year 2012)

Angel technology investors have piled £160k into a Coventry UK startup developing a real-time, geospatial social networking platform.

GeoSpock Limited is being backed by Execute Technologies Inc. alongside BioMedTech angels Darrin Disley, Jonathan Milner, Peter Keen and Dan Cowell. And it’s already looking at expansion into the US via a California hub.

In a bid to underpin global traction the young business is taking a Facebook-style approach to the commercial launch. Marsh said the company – whose development team was currently working at ideaSpace – had just secured a ‘Hacker House’ where they will live and work.

“It worked for Facebook in their early days and we’re hoping it will work for us too,” said Marsh.

The company has not only summoned the inspiration of Facebook but also evoked the spirit of Spock to power the new enterprise.

Marsh said: “The name GeoSpock is a portmanteau of geo, showing the focus on physical location, and Spock, whose primary job in Star Trek was to discover brave new worlds. The apps we are creating will act like Spock’s Tricorder, allowing people to manage and explore the global data environment and use it to enhance the way in which they interact with each other.”

CUE’s ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ believes the venture “will breathe new life into online social networking.”

The business is already in hiring mode and is looking for a couple of additional developers initially. “We have just hired an amazing iOS developer who is busy creating really slick mobile apps,” said Marsh.

“We’re also hoping to bring on board a Python and database guru to help us build our back-end Collide platform. The aim is to create world-class technology which can simultaneously power a multitude of geo-spatial applications.”

GeoSpock is instantly international. Marsh said: “Our mobile applications will be available worldwide on launch. Also, while we are currently based in Coventry we have plans to open an additional office in San Francisco in two to three years-time.”

At the University, Marsh is researching real-time, large-scale super-computing solutions designed to model human brain functionality; he turned his mind in 2012 to building a platform that would bring passive social networking, professional networking and dating applications to life by facilitating real-time interaction via ‘user-defined,’ dynamic profile filtering and pinpoint location mapping.

The key to solving the issue of “how do you gets millions of users interacting in real time with their networks is scalability,” says Marsh. “It is a fantastic opportunity to develop a cool technology solution, but more than that – for us to build something which can improve people’s lives on a daily basis by solving real-world problems is an amazing feeling.”

In addition to the £160k investment, Marsh recently received £10,000 for the CEDAR Enterprise Fellowship 2012 awarded by Anglia Ruskin University and £2,500 from Carpe Diem Trust, sponsor of the Coventry University Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The proceeds of both awards are being used to accelerate the business activities of the company.

Darrin Disley, CEO of personalised medicines trailblazer Horizon Discovery has become non-executive chairman of GeoSpock Ltd.

Dr Disley said: “I first spotted Steve while judging the Coventry University Entrepreneurs business plan competition of 2012 and felt there was a touch of genius about this young working-class lad from Salford.

“I followed him through that competition and while his business plan did not meet the textbook requirements of the competition, a group of angels advising on the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award were unanimous that this was the guy we would like to back. This wish has now become a reality and we are happy to place our cash, time and experience behind such a great idea.

“The investment is being used to hire a crack back-end and front-end team to develop the core platform and release two initial applications in the social networking and dating space.”

- For more, visit Business Weekly


Apr 2013 13

As the deadline for the CUE 5K Challenge draws closer, here are some helpful documents to guide you along with your business plan writing. Remember to submit a softcopy of your business plans to 5ksubmission@cue.org.uk by 2359 on the 28th of April! Good luck!

What judges look for - Bradley Hardiman

General legal issues - Mills and Reeve, Legal issues Starter Pack. For participants that have any legal queries, feel free to direct them to cue@mills-reeve.com.

Funding and finance - Ensors Accounting