Business savvy former student in festival spotlight
John Macleod is one of 26 candidates to be put under the spotlight by Sheffield's MADE: The Entrepreneur Festival, which will run from 19-21 September and has been branded by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as an event "that the whole of the UK can be proud of".
The 23-year-old, who graduated from Leeds Met in 2010 with a BSc (Hons) degree in Sports Coaching launched his first business, Post Runner via the University's business start-up scheme based at the QU2 Business Centre at the city centre campus. He was nominated for MADE by Paul Lindley - founder of multimillion pound company Ella's Kitchen.
John commented: "It really is an honour to be nominated as a Change Maker for the MADE festival. There are 25 other young, ambitious and successful business men and women all making their mark as entrepreneurs who have been shortlisted in the same category, so to be considered in the same league as them is humbling."
Now in its third year, MADE is the country's biggest festival of entrepreneurship, attracting more than 3,000 guests and 50 high-profile speakers in venues across Sheffield. Members of the public can cast their votes for their winning Change Maker until 17 September at www.madefestival.com. The winner will be announced at MADE on 20 September. The prize is a one-to-one mentoring sessions with Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE of Cobra Beer, which will take place in the MADE chopper, provided by the festival's charity partner, the Children's Air Ambulance - 3,000ft above Sheffield.
John and fellow Leeds Metropolitan University graduate John Tetik 25, launched Post Runner - a leaflet and flyer distribution service based in Leeds, after noticing a gap in the market for such work to be carried out in a supervised, professional and motivated manner.
In addition, John Macleod has another business venture under his belt - Lux Creations. The design company, which John set up with his dad after graduating, was also launched via QU2 at the University, and already has a portfolio of two innovative products.
The first product - Clear Notes, which are transparent and re-usable sticky notes that allow the user to view any document below the note whilst making annotations, was launched earlier this year at London's annual Stationery Show,
"I came up with the idea when I worked for an insurance firm in 2010," said John, who graduated from Leeds Met with a BSc (Hons) degree in Sports Coaching. "I'd regularly find myself dealing with a lot of documents and it was tricky trying to make notes without actually writing on the papers. That's when I realised there was a simple solution to the problem and the idea for Clear Notes was born. The best thing about the product is their versatility and the fact that they can be used again and again. We have developed the product in a number of sizes as well with our own marker pen to use which can be wiped off the Clear Notes easily."
The second product at Lux Creations is a Travel Alert iPhone app which gives the user traffic alerts and has an inbuilt alarm system to wake you up earlier in the morning if your chosen travel route is experiencing traffic delays.
. Over the past ten years, Leeds Metropolitan University has supported the start-up and growth of over 600 businesses, creating over 1300 jobs in the region with a collective turnover of more than £42 million.
. The University offers two business support services: Business Start-Up which supports students and graduates of Leeds Metropolitan who want to become self-employed or start up in business; and QU2 (Queen Square Business Quarter), which offers business support and office space to any business in the region, particularly suiting start-up and early stage businesses with limited budgets.
. QU2 and Business Start-Up both provide training and advice on the main aspects of starting and growing a small business including: sales, marketing, legal concerns, accountancy and finance, online marketing and human resources. Clients can also access one-to-one advice from in-house business advisors.
. The QU2 business incubation service, which currently houses 80 businesses, also offers virtual office space, consisting of a business address and use of hotdesks and meeting rooms.