21 August 2013
Taking a student’s business and turning it into a major player in charity giving
Who are CharityCheckout?
UCL alumnus, Chester Mojay-Sinclare (BA Philosophy 2011) spent his gap year travelling and working within the fundraising industry in both the UK and Australia when the idea for AliveandGiving came to him. The website creates a way to give to charities in an open and considered way.
is not-for-profit and sponsored by UCL and UCL Business. It launched in
2009 and is an ongoing concern. But the idea developed, as so many do,
and in 2011 CharityCheckout was launched.
is a charity donation system for charities who want a website offering
regular giving options, branded donation pages and a Gift Aid reclaim
service to make donating easy.
How did UCL help?
won a UCL Bright Ideas Award. The award recognises the potential of an
idea right from the early stages and provides the funds for students to
develop an idea and turn it into a profitable new business.
have regular meet-ups and consult with Chengiz Tarhan from UCL Business
and Tim Barnes from UCL Advances – UCL basically funded our first
CharityCheckout was the first
company to take advantage of the Student Business Hatchery – dedicated
work space in central London, offered to UCL student businesses at no
cost. In addition, ‘residents’ benefit from access to the Advances team
and business advisors as well as support from the other companies in the
“Without UCL Advances we would never have got off the ground.” Chester Mojay-Sinclare, Founder, CharityCheckout
What were the results?
worked with the UCL Advances SMILE mentoring programme which supported
the company in the vital, early stages. A business mentor devised an
investment plan and through the network of mentors, Chester met the
company’s event lead investor, founder of a very successful restaurant
chain and a UCL alumnus himself. Having this high profile investor on
board made the possibility of securing further investors more likely –
in fact it became a reality.
By April 2013 the
company was working with over 300 charities employing seven staff
members and aiming to increase to 12 in the coming months.