Where they are: A catchup with the 2017-18 MSc cohort
6 January 2020
Our first cohort of MSc Innovation and Entrepreneurship students graduated from the one-year MSc programme in the autumn of 2018. We’ve recently caught up with them to see how they’re progressing a year since graduation.
Abdulhameed Al-Hadha’s (pictured second from left) final degree project involved starting a Halva factory in Yemen as part of his family’s business; this is due to be operating early in 2020. He has also started a rice-importing business using fully biodegradable packaging based on conversations with lecturers whilst he studied in the Centre. His first container of rice (24 metric tonnes) has already arrived in the UK and another is on its way! Finally, he’s been involved in setting up visits for British doctors to provide training events in Sana’a, Yemen.
Bingyu (Ruby) Zhao (pictured centre) gained an Entrepreneurial Visa to stay in the UK and work on the international student lettings business she started during her MSc. This business is focused on helping Chinese international students find suitable accommodation in the UK; Ruby attracted over a thousand followers in just three months but is still working through a variety of issues. She’s also started a side-line in Asian desserts and cakes. After a lot of prototyping and some successful early sales, she’s exploring taking the next steps for an Asian patisserie start-up in the UK.
Overall, Ruby would concede that the last year has been challenging as she’s still relatively new to the UK and had little work experience before beginning her MSc. However, she has been motivated and learnt to find new business opportunities; the joy of making small steps in her own business always pushes her to make progress towards her goals.
Danish Mohd returned to his native India and is now the Director of Street Connections, a social enterprise in Delhi that employs former street children (like himself) and provides accommodation and walking tours. He’s also started a small real-estate business, is writing a book, and looking to start the craft business he planned as part of his MSc dissertation.
Roman Vuchtrl returned to his native Czech Republic wanting to build up some work experience in consulting before starting-up. In the last year, he’s been working for Deloitte in Prague in the Innovation and Start-up team which has helped him work not just with businesses of all sizes but on social and environmental impact projects too. He has also spent some time working on start-ups outside of Deloitte whilst he hunts for the right opportunity to start-up himself.
Rose Sharon Tan Suan Kim gained an Entrepreneurial Visa to stay in the UK and work on her start-up Merudite. Merudite is a digital tool that delivers curated learning plans based on students' personality types. The content and interactive tools are focused on supporting young people to develop their self-awareness, well-being, and life skills. The project began with Roman Bromidge (a fellow Innovation Centre student) and Rose in Dec 2018; they’ve now grown to a team of four and undertaken a huge array of research to validate their idea. They are currently finalising our 3rd prototype as they continue our conversations with interested schools in London and hope to launch their platform to the public by early 2020.