A Software Engineering graduate from Cardiff Metropolitan University has recently launched PrioSym - an innovative business specialising in mobile website and app development for small businesses.
Richard Wheeler graduated in July 2013 with a First Class BSc (Hons.) Software Engineering degree. In June of last year, Richard attended 'Countdown to Launch', a business start-up week organised by Cardiff Metropolitan University's Centre for Student Entrepreneurship.
The Centre for Student Entrepreneurship is a department within the University which helps support student and graduate start-up businesses while also developing students' entrepreneurial skills. The Centre runs a number of events and activities throughout the year from networking events and competitions to intensive skills development programmes.
Countdown to Launch was Cardiff Metropolitan University's first business start-up week and was organised and delivered by the Centre for Student Entrepreneurship. The event, which was sponsored by Santander, enabled students from various disciplines to develop a business plan and to learn about all aspects of starting a business from marketing and operations to finance and tax.
At the end of the five day programme students were given the opportunity to pitch their business idea to a panel of entrepreneurs, business professionals and investment angels. Richard was one of five businesses who successfully pitched their idea and received funding to get their business off the ground. Commenting on the impact that Countdown to Launch had on him, Richard said:
'Countdown to Launch helped me to develop the skills that I felt I needed at the time and also gave me that final push. If it hadn't been for that event I wouldn't be in a position to be able to start my own business.'
Now, nine months on Richard is successfully running his business, Priosym and establishing a client base. PrioSym was set up to help small businesses develop a mobile presence at an affordable cost. The services include website development, creating a mobile version of an existing website and developing smart phone applications for businesses.
Richard has recently developed a mobile website for SleepPro, an organisation which provides diagnostics and treatment for sleep disorders and snoring. Richard's client at SleepPro commented:
'From the outset a very proactive approach was adopted demonstrating how quickly and easily the mobile sites could be developed, identifying issues and suggesting solutions. The whole process has been handled in a highly organised and structured manner with professionalism and courtesy. It has been a pleasure to work with PrioSym on this project and I look forward to working with them again in the future.'
As well as receiving funding to develop his business, Richard also benefits from regular support and mentoring from the Centre for Student Entrepreneurship. He commented:
'I feel like I am ready to take on the challenge of starting my own business but it's nice knowing that you have that additional support and back up. It's encouraging to know that even now if I have a problem there's someone I can talk to, almost like a safety net if I ever need it.'
The Centre for Student Entrepreneurship will continue to support Richard on his journey. Entrepreneurship Manager Natasha Hashimi commented: 'Richard has been on an amazing journey over the past nine months. With the funding provided by Santander, the Centre for Student entrepreneurship has been able to offer tailored support to Richards's business needs and this has really allowed Richard and the Business to develop quickly. Richard has a fantastic work ethic and the Centre for Student Entrepreneurship look forward to supporting Richard as PrioSym grows.'
The Centre for Student Entrepreneurship was established in January 2013 and is part-funded by the Welsh Government through the Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy. For more information please visit www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/entrepreneurship
PrioSym offers a range of services aimed at helping small businesses and start-up companies to develop a mobile presence. For more information please visit http://www.priosym.com/.