16 August 2013
How to plant the seed of an idea and nurture a sustainable business
Who is Poq Studio?
Poq Studio, founded in 2011 by Michael Langguth and Oyvind Heriksen (MSc Technology Entrepreneurship, 2012), makes it easy for fashion brands to get branded mobile apps and web sites to sell more online and engage with their customers. Their clients range from high street shoe brands to the quirky and cool jewellery designer Tatty Devine.
How did UCL help?
Studio has benefitted from a broad range of UCL initiatives – it all
started from the very beginning in the UCL Advances Student Business
Hatchery, in close proximity to the UCL Advances team. Poq Studio not
only received help and support from the staff, but also from the growing
number of other student companies joining the Hatchery.
In 2012 Poq Studio won a UCL Advances Bright Ideas award giving them their first financial leg-up. The awards recognise businesses that have potential, but might not be ready for venture capital investment at this stage, lending them some funds to get their business up and running.
of the Poq team regularly attend the OpenCoffee Club hosted at UCL
every week which was started to encourage entrepreneurs, developers and
investors to meet up. Here they met similar entrepreneurs facing similar
difficulties and exchanged tips and support.
“Our success was only made possibly by the Advances network.” Michael Langguth, Founder
UCL Advances HELO (Higher Education London Outreach) programme helped
define Poq Studio’s product and test user experience of the software,
giving them a unique and highly informative inside perspective. “This
was immensely helpful in the early days of development,” says Michael.
What were the results?
order to take the business forward, investment was needed. The SMILE
(Selected Management Interims for London Enterprises) programme
connected Poq Studio to a mentor with the skills to develop a
comprehensive business plan, setting out the potential growth and level
of investment needed. The mentor helped identify the right people to
pitch to and made the necessary investor introductions.The end result
was a total of £225k invement raised.
Poq Studio has subsequently made use of the UCL internship program which connects bright UCL students with local businesses to deliver real results and impact to their host organisations. The interns are selected for the field that they would like to engage in and are paid by UCL. In the words of Michael, “the quality of the interns is really high, they were really motivated.”
Poq Studio still taps into
the vast UCL alumni network and continues to thrive having recently
moved to London’s Tech City and growing the team.