The Foundership is a fantastic opportunity for students and recent graduates to make their entrepreneurial dreams a reality. The support programme is run by the University’s Student Enterprise Team and provides a unique opportunity for a cohort of student founders to launch or grow their business over the summer break.
Over the 12 weeks, successful applicants receive £3,000 in support funding, allowing them to focus on their business idea without having to worry about getting a summer job to support themselves. One of the most important parts of the Foundership is to equip the students with the tools and knowledge they need to start and grow their own business. The Foundership does this through providing 12 weeks of dedicated support, including a range of mentoring sessions and expert speaker workshops. These sessions provide the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals and entrepreneurs in a variety of fields, from legal & accounting, to sales & marketing. The founders can take advantage of weekly 1-to-1 mentoring sessions from the Student Enterprise Team to provide them with personalised guidance and advice on their business development. They also have access to dedicated co-working space in the heart of Southampton for the full duration of the programme.
The programme will enter its fifth year in the summer of 2023 and is a real highlight of the opportunities provided by the Student Enterprise Team to support students wanting to start their own business.
Here’s what some of the students who participated in the Foundership 2022 had to say about their experience.
Laura and Jessie, founder of mental health journaling app, Journally
“The Foundership program was an invaluable resource for me as a founder. Through the programme, I was able to connect with a community of like-minded entrepreneurs and industry experts who provided me with guidance and support. The programme helped me to overcome challenges and identify opportunities for growth. One of the best parts of the programme was the access to external speakers who shared their insights and experiences with us. I learned so much from their stories and advice. The programme also provided me with practical skills and tools that I could apply to my business immediately, which helped me to see tangible results. Thanks to the Foundership, I was able to develop my business and see its true potential and reach. I would highly recommend this programme to any aspiring entrepreneur who is looking for guidance, support, and a community of like-minded individuals who are passionate about building successful businesses and making a difference.” Laura, Cofounder of Journally, 2022 Cohort
Lucy Harris, founder of specialist sports clothing brand, NetU
“The Foundership offered a unique opportunity for me to work on my business alongside a variety of dynamic startups (all in the same boat) and learn from industry experts. As a result, my business jumped out of a bit of a stagnant phase, I majorly improved my pitching skills and gained confidence in applying for other funding, where we have found success in obtaining two further grants. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone passionate about their business idea… what have you got to lose?” Lucy, Founder of NetU, 2022 Cohort.
The Foundership 2022 Cohort at the Annual Student Founder Showcase
Front row left to right. Tamara Ivancova – Founder of Amara Automotive, Lucinda Ndoro – CoFounder of Faith 20 Care, Laura Meehan – Co Founder of Journally
Back Row left to right. Lucy Harris – CoFounder of NetU, Christian Toma – CoFounder of AVENTURI (Formally known as AMRSS), Sam Munday – Founder of Data Revival, Leonard Koenig – CoFounder of Proterra Offsetting, Guillaume Cornet-Vernet – CoFounder of Proterra Offsetting, Colin Christie – CoFounder Acoustic Reality, Joe Archer – CoFounder Acoustic Reality, Jessica Jobson – CoFounder of Journally, Clare MacNaughton – CoFounder of Graffinity.
The Foundership programme is just the start, with founders from the 2022 cohort progressing onto the Future Worlds Founders Cohort and the Southampton Science Park Catalyst Programme. Others were finalists for the SantanderX competition and for SETsquared’s GradInvest, two further opportunities the Student Enterprise Team help deliver.
The programme also provides the founders with an opportunity to showcase their business at VentureFest, one of the biggest innovations festivals in the South. This event provides an invaluable opportunity to network with potential investors, customers, and stakeholders from across the UK.
The Student Enterprise Team are always looking for potential industry experts and experienced mentors to give back to the next generation of aspiring entrepreneurs. Could you help shape the future of our student founders? To find out more about the Foundership or to get involved please fill out this short form.