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Taking the road less travelled

With an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Politics under my belt, I came to Sussex in 2015 to study for an MA in Gender, Violence and Conflict. There were a few raised eyebrows amongst my friends and fellow Global Studies students when I told them I’d be spending the next year working on the Catalyst Programme at the Sussex Innovation Centre. Most people hadn’t heard of the Innovation Centre, let alone understood what we do here. Those who had were perhaps a little sceptical about why someone like me, and with my background, would be interested in working in a business environment. Until I stumbled across an advert for Catalyst around a year ago, I was somewhere between these two camps m

A welcome to the world of start-ups

All aboard the crazy train. This is an introduction into the harsh reality of being a recent start up. Your world is full of madness. Ups and downs, random curve balls thrown into the mix, and riding the crazy train to success… hopefully? It is also an insight into my life trying to support them on their quest – all aboard! Starting the job I was under the impression there would be fairly consistent levels of work supporting the clients of the centre. Not an unreasonable expectation, but perhaps one that lacked some insight into the start-up realm. Since then I have learnt an awful lot! Start-ups can fall into the understandable trap that your focus becomes mainly on the here and now, and of

StartUp Sussex - making student ideas happen

On the 29th of November, the first phase of the annual StartUp Sussex entrepreneurship competition reached the height of its concluding crescendo. 27 individuals, or teams, pitched their ideas in front of 2 judges, and only 6 of them would went through to the second phase of the programme. It was exciting and tense, to say the least. StartUp Sussex is open for all students currently on undergraduate or postgraduate courses at the University of Sussex, as well as anyone who has completed a degree at the university within the past 3 years. As such, we get an array of current student entrepreneurs and recent graduates who, after finishing university, realise they have a great business idea. The

A Product Launch, A Catapult and 17GB Wheat – Three Very Different Events in Just Over a Week

A lot of my time working with the Catalyst team is spent in the office. I enjoy being there – there’s a great atmosphere – but after nearly five months in the team, I’ve definitely been pining for a chance to do something externally. I was then pleasantly surprised to end up booked to attend three events in London over the course of the last week and a half. I hadn’t represented the team, or the Innovation Centre, externally before, and now I was getting three chances in a row to get out there, talk about what we do, and learn a few things in the process. Very exciting. The first of these was a product launch event for Broker Compare, a start-up I’ve been working with that’s aiming to make c

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