Your articles

 Wesley Cole (EMBA 2011)

Loving the entrepreneurial life at Cass

I started the modular exec MBA in May 2011, just as I was approaching my eight-year anniversary at the recruitment firm I had worked at since I left university. Like many colleagues on my course, my reason for taking on an MBA was to help me break through the seemingly impenetrable senior management ceiling I had reached. Naively I had assumed the MBA would be a golden ticket to the top and in many ways it has over delivered, but not as I had originally expected.

From day one at Cass I met amazing people with incredible jobs in exotic places, which really opened my mind to what I could achieve. This, mixed with a broad range of modules, really changed my view on where I wanted to go in life.

Consequently, I took a module called New Venture Creation which started to analyse a business idea I had been thinking about. I discovered that I loved the broad range of skills needed to build a business plan. I took the idea, still not much more than a scribble on a piece of paper, and submitted it to City Universities City Spark competition. After a pitch and heavy questioning from experts in the area, I came third. This gave me the confidence to go on and further explore the world of entrepreneurship.

In short, Canopy Tech Ltd was born.

Cass now has a range of entrepreneurship modules from product innovation to fast track ventures and these inspired me to write my final year business mastery project around my business plan. By this time i had begun to immerse myself in the entrepreneur community growing around Cass and the Old Street area and I got the bug. I left my job after almost 10 years, giving myself a year to try and get my business off the ground.

I’m now based in the Cass Business School incubation space at the Peter Cullum Centre for Entrepreneurship. The team here have not only provided me with the basic infrastructure to help get the business off the ground, but have also proven to be a helpful sounding board on what can be quite a solitary journey when starting out. More recently I have been in talks with the Cass Entrepreneurship Fund to discuss funding and broader business support. Access to the team has been a great help as the idea and business develops.

Our application is an aggregator of the web portals recruiters use to get vacancies from their clients. It’s a culmination of 10 years of industry experience and the broad skill set developed on the MBA at Cass.

Six months into the journey we have a prototype called the Canopy, a handful of interns from City University computer science course, a trial customer, and investment traction. Our challenge now is to grow whilst remaining innovative, lean and customer focused.

And, of course, to keep it fun!

Previous contribution