Santander Universities Emerging Entrepreneurs Programme


Posted on: 30 April 2020 in Case studies


Gavin and Sam, History graduates from the University of Liverpool, have been nominated and selected for the Santander Universities Emerging Entrepreneurs Programme to represent the University of Liverpool. In this short article they discuss their business idea and their feelings on being nominated.

"The idea for our company, Passmate, was born when I and Sam were at university. We realised that between us, we went through 7 driving instructors and failed 7 driving tests. We thought a bit more about why this might have been, putting our own ineptitude aside for one moment.... We realised that the industry was rather archaic, and that both learners and instructors relied on the outdated system of word-of-mouth referrals. Trying to solve a problem that you’ve experienced is a massive advantage when trying to start a business as you have first-hand experience and know what can be improved. Even if you think you are too young/ inexperienced to start you can use this to your own advantage. We used our recent poor experience of driving to our advantage and our young target market are a similar age to us meaning that we can connect and communicate with them better as the problem is relatable.

Our idea was realised and financially supported when we approached We Are Nova, who are based in Liverpool. Nova is a company that you can pitch your business ideas to, free of cost, and if they like the sound of it, you can develop your business under their mentorship and guidance. We initially weren’t going to send an application as we thought it would be overlooked… Our key piece of advice is that don’t be shy!!! If you contact someone asking for help/ advice they are more than likely going to give you it because people want to help. If you’re asking for something and they say no ask them WHY and ask yourself WHY? You can’t put a price on feedback in the early stages of a startup - get to know what's right/ wrong and how you can improve.

Which brings me onto the final point - obtain market research as soon as possible. It costs £0.00 to set up a google form and share it across your socials, once you have this you can start to focus on trends and build a real USP!

We're overwhelmed having been selected to represent the University of Liverpool, it's an amazing opportunity that we've been given in terms of the growth of Passmate to gain funding and also meet like minded people! We feel like we're in a good position for something like this - Thanks to the University for nominating ourselves and hopefully make them proud."


Keywords: Case studies.