Business Start-Up Journey

Start a business while you study at Kent

The Business Start-Up Journey is an inspirational programme which brings student business start-up ideas to life.

This 12-week co-curricular programme will provide you with a step-by-step guide to starting a business, teaching you the skills that are required to be a successful entrepreneur.

The programme's focus on innovation will enhance your employability. You will learn how to assess risk, how to turn challenges into opportunity and develop leadership, communication, presentation and team-working skills.

The programme welcomes all students from Kent Business School, the School of Computing and the School of Economics at the University of Kent. The Journey will largely be based in the ASPIRE space (Accelerator Space for Innovation and Enterprise) in the Sibson building, Canterbury. However events will take place across both the Canterbury and Medway campuses.

Six steps to success

Six steps to start-up success
Six steps to start-up success

Key dates

The majority of the Business Start-Up Journey will be delivered on Wednesday afternoons, making it easy to fit around your studies.

The Campus Shuttle is a free coach service between Medway and Canterbury campuses. The service operates 7 days a week term-time only and the journey takes approximately 50 minutes.

After the Business Start-Up Journey Launch, the times and locations of all events will be supplied to all students wishing to continue on the Journey.


Wednesday 22 November

The Business Start-Up Journey

14.15 - 16.30 - Grimond Lecture Theatre 1, Canterbury

Launch Meet the Business Start-Up Journey team and find out more about how the Journey could help you. Afterwards, join us for a buffet and networking.

Wednesday 29 November and Saturday 2 December

Business Bootcamps

15.00 - 17.00 - Wednesday 29 November 2017 - Sail & Colour Loft 210, Medway
10.00 - 16.00 - Saturday 2 December 2017 - MBA Executive Suite, Canterbury

An Ideas Hack where you will explore how to find innovative business solutions by solving problems in the world around us.

Wednesday 6 December

Working Lunch 1: Market Research

15.00 - 17.00 - Sibson SR3, Canterbury

Learn about desk and field research, how to spot trends through data analysis and how to find out who your competition is.

Facts international
Wednesday 17 January

Working Lunch 2: Market Research

15.00 - 17.00 - Sail & Colour Loft 210, Medway

Develop your business proposal. Explore what data tells us in business.

Facts international
Wednesday 24 January

Working Lunch 3: Testing

15.00 - 17.00 - MBA Executive Suite, Canterbury

Discover what you need to do to get your product or service to market. Learn about the prototyping process, minimum viable product (MVP) and running pop-up events. Learn about pop-up websites from Kent IT Consultancy (KITC).

Tribe innovation
Wednesday 31 January

Working Lunch 4: Google Digital Masterclass

15.00 - 17.00 - Templeman LT1, Canterbury

Learn about the importance of digital for businesses and your own career, and get top tips from Google on how to build a business online and on social media. Gain advice from KITC.

Wednesday 7 February

Working Lunch 5: Product Launch

15.00 - 17.00 - Sibson SR3, Canterbury

Plan how you will launch your product in the market. Develop a promotional/crowdfunding video.

AM marketing
Wednesday 21 February

Working Lunch 6: Business Basics and Financials

15.00 - 17.00 - Sail & Colour Loft 210, Medway

Learn how to set up your company. Uncover hidden start-up costs, maintaining cash flow and insurance. 

Friday 23 February


Submit your business plan!

Saturday 10 March – Sunday 11 March

Business Bootcamp

Details TBC

Present your ideas to fellow student entrepreneurs and gain valuable insight and feedback to help shape your ideas. Get the best tips on how to present yourself and your idea and discover what investors are really looking for.

Monday 12 March – Monday 26 March


Details TBC

Selected student entrepreneurs will be offered a one-to-one with a successful business person to gain further advice and perspective on their plans.

Wednesday 21 March

Working Lunch 7: Intellectual Property and Sourcing Finance

15.00 - 17.00 - Sail & Colour Loft 210, Canterbury

Find out about copyright, trademarks and intellectual property, plus learn about innovative ways to secure funding and get your idea off the ground.

Kent County Council
Wednesday 28 March

Business Start-Up Journey Showcase

Details TBC

This is the finale of the Business Start-Up Journey where you get the chance to pitch to judges. There will be video presentations, prizes and more. Guests, donors, business experts and entrepreneurs are all welcome.

The Business Start-Up Journey Team:

Adam Smith

Entrepreneur in Residence

Adam set up his own management consultancy business and has now diversified into angel investing in start-up companies. On the Business Start-Up Journey, Adam will mentor you through the start-up process, providing you with critical support and advice.

Rebecca Smith

ASPIRE Project Officer

Rebecca coordinates all things Business Start-Up Journey. With 18 years’ experience as a journalist, Rebecca uses her extensive network to ensure the best possible support and advice is available to you as you progress on the Journey.

Jason Marshall

Tech Entrepreneur in Residence

Jason has been a successful IT consultant for 10 years. On the Business Start-Up Journey, Jason will help test the viability and feasibility of your business propositions with a focus on innovative technology ideas.

The Business Start-Up Journey Mentors include:

Daniel Rubin

Founder and Executive Chairman The Dune Group

As founder of an international fashion footwear brand with 300 stores in 20 countries around the world, Daniel’s specialisms lie in retail, wholesale, importing and marketing. Daniel says: ‘Building a brand that has a clear personality and point of difference has been a challenging and rewarding experience.’

Laura Bounds

Managing Director Kent Crisps and Kentish Condiments

Laura’s specialism is marketing and the retail of food and drink. Laura says: ‘A good idea is great, but what business is about, is spotting an opportunity.’

Adam Baker

University Relationship Branch Manager, Santander

Promoted through the ranks at Enterprise-Rent-A-Car, Adam moved into the banking sector and now leads operations at the University of Kent branch of Santander. Adam is keen to share his expertise in relationship management and customer service.

Contact us

Kent Business School
University of Kent
+44 (0)1227 816492

Submit your business plan

Email your business plan to


Kent Business School - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7PE, T: +44 (0)1227 827726, E:

Last Updated: 17/01/2018