"Believe in yourself, never give up and go about your business with passion, drive and enthusiasm." - Peter Jones
UoL student, Mathew Horne, took Peter Jones' advice recently when facing the heat of Swan's Den. The result? Mathew walked away with a grant of up to £5,000 to help grow his media business, Horne Videography.
We asked Mathew a few questions about this unique opportunity.
How did you hear about the opportunity and why did you choose to pitch?
"I came across Swan's Den on the Student Enterprise website while searching for possible forms of funding because I knew equipment and advertising for my business was going to cost a substantial amount. I got in contact with them and the process was very well explained. I was given help at every stage of the process.
I decided to get involved in the Swan's Den process because I was in need of support - both financially and in terms of guidance. I heard that Swan's Den would be a good way to extend the potential for my business and help it grow."
What product did you pitch to its panel of experts?
"The concept that I pitched for Swan's Den was a videography service. By coincidence, I had started doing minor wedding, promotional and music videos alongside university and found it a lot of fun, so I decided to see if making it into a full-time business were a viable option. The services I would offer included filming weddings, adverts and videos for artists. However, the pitch was tailored towards weddings as that is my main client base."
What did you enjoy most about the Swan's Den experience?
"What I valued most about the whole experience was the continued support. From the moment I first emailed to enquire about what it was Swan's Den did, to receiving extended support beyond being successful and receiving the grant, there is always help if/when needed."
What would you say to other students who are considering pitching?
"I would definitely recommend Swan's Den to other students. Even if they're only considering starting up their business, just getting in contact helped me to make up my mind on whether this was something I actually wanted to consider over other avenues of work. But for those who have definitively chosen to start up their own business, it is a great way to help boost skills and potential."
What do you plan to do now that the Swan's Den process is over?
"Now that Swan's Den has finished, the next steps for me are to continue working on the feedback I have received, commenting on how to improve my concept, and to establish a solid and effective form of advertising to expand my client base."
Swan's Den is an amazing opportunity offered by the University of Lincoln Students' Union in partnership with the University of Lincoln. It operates much like the famous Dragon's Den, offering a grant of up to £5,000 for student entrepreneurs to kick-start their business dreams.
Find out more here.