Graduate’s business is built on strong foundations thanks to UON
A graduate is building a solid business to help construction industry professionals, thanks to University of Northampton (UON) support.
Collabed is the brainchild of Alex Ramsden, who formed the company just a few months after graduating from the University’s Architectural Technology degree in 2020.
It’s the construction industry’s very own ‘Linkedin’, combining a jobs notification board and professional networking platform. It helps those in the sector find new opportunities and graduates to turn theory into practice by landing their first professional post.
Thanks to a helping hand from University’s Changemaker Incubator, Collabed is no longer ‘under construction’ but is built for success.
The Changemaker Incubator is a University framework that connects organisations across Northamptonshire by the value to people and society generated by how they buy from their suppliers (‘social procurement’).
The Incubator also provides expertise, resources, and funding to deliver high value social impact collaboration. Through the Incubator, voluntary, charity and social enterprise organisations can access dedicated support from the University and have a direct link to working with UON students.
Alex says: “The Changemaker Incubator has been instrumental in getting Collabed from a great idea to where it is now, a digital ‘bridge’ between university and the world of work.
“The University provided 121 business mentoring for my initial idea, helping me to build it from the foundations up. I also received two development grants totalling £7500. I’m now at a point with Collabed where I have gone out for crowdfunding investment to add ‘more floors’ and make it into a scalable business. In short, I couldn’t have gotten where I am without them.”
Jay Baughan, the University’s Social Entrepreneur in Residence, adds: “Alex’s superb initiative is the very definition of what we hope to achieve with the Changemaker Incbuator, the first-time one of our students has crowdfunded a start-up enterprise. This is how the business world moves in the here and now and Alex shows clear direction for others to follow.
“The Incubator actively builds on the existing Changemaker ethos that runs through University of Northampton. Namely, supporting and developing projects from student, staff and members of our community that have demonstrable, positive impact on people, society, and the environment. These projects and people are also keyed in to major, social procurement players across Northamptonshire and beyond, ensuring the maximum value for the ‘social impact pound’.”