Dragonesque-graduates give advice to others

Published: 27 September 2010 at 10:12

Graduate entrepreneurs return to university for ‘Question Time’ to detail their experiences of new technologies, PR and the health spa sectors

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Three former-students from Anglia Ruskin University will share their experiences of starting their own businesses with members of the public and current students on 27 October, at the Ashcroft Lecture Theatre, Chelmsford campus.

The Development & Alumni Office at Anglia Ruskin University has invited the three graduates, who have established their own successful businesses since leaving the University, to return to the burgeoning Chelmsford campus to take part in an informal ‘Entrepreneurs’ Question Time’ event. The former students will be sharing their knowledge and experience while answering questions about how they started and developed their businesses, and what they are planning to do in the future.

Hosting the event will be Anglia Ruskin University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Alan Sibbald, and Lester Lloyd-Reason, Professor of International Enterprise Strategy, from the Ashcroft International Business School who said:

"These graduates will give us their inside story including the pleasure and pain of setting up their own business. They have been chosen as outstanding examples of what can be achieved by combining sheer drive with the entrepreneurship skills that they acquired from their university study."

"These graduates will demonstrate that they are fearless and have embraced change and development.  All extremely capable, confident characters, they represent three very separate business ventures and for this reason, there will be something of interest for everyone who comes along on the evening."

"Implementing an entrepreneurship culture is one of the key goals of Anglia Ruskin University.  We aim to equip more and more of our students with both the ambition and the ability to go into business for themselves."

The three alumni will be describing the ups and the downs of creating a business from just one simple idea.

Matthew Eaves, Director of Creativity for Chelmsford based Cleveratom, a commercial venture working to make learning more engaging through the use of new and emerging technologies, was diagnosed with dyslexia, aged nine.  He struggled with traditional teaching and learning although went on to graduate in 2000 with a First Class BSc (Hons) in Business Information Systems.

The main focus of Matthew’s work is in the use of technology for creative purpose,.  He works on a range of learning, technology, creativity and research projects worldwide for charities, corporations, governments, broadcasters, museums and education institutions to research and enrich learning.  Cleveratom was founded by a group of colleagues who were made redundant.  Three and a half years later, the business has its own premises in Chelmsford, employs nine people and has a list of clients that include Aim Higher, BBC Blast, Design Council, East of England Strategic Health Authority, and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Aneela Rose with 8 years of senior management experience in the publishing, aviation and IT industries, decided to leave the post she was in to set up her own PR company as she realised it was PR work that she loved.  Aneela graduated from Anglia Ruskin in 1995 with a BA (Hons) in Business Studies.

Aneela Rose PR is now a specialist business to business PR and marketing consultancy employing an in-house team of account managers to provide professional creative communications services.  The company works with a diverse raft of enterprises ranging from start-ups to businesses with £40 million turnover, in sectors including construction, retail, leisure, media, marketing, manufacturing and technology.

Matt Craven graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2001 with a BSc (Hons) in Sports Science.  He went on to work in a 14,000 strong members club in the heart of the London’s financial district.  Following a trip around Canada, Matt returned to the UK with the idea of setting up a career in personal training and sports injuries, starting his own business in the Lincolnshire area.  Later the opportunity came to work in America as a personal trainer aboard cruise liners, where Matt met his now wife and business partner Emma.

Health clubs, although a viable option, represented a flooded market, so Matt and Emma felt that they needed something new and that was on the rise.  In 2007, with a business plan and funding, The Grange Spa was launched with facilities including a wet area, health suite and relaxation area. Now in its second year of running, the business is bringing in a healthy return.

The Entrepreneurs’ Question Time evening begins at 7.00pm on The Mezzanine in the Ashcroft Building at Anglia Ruskin’s Rivermead campus in Chelmsford, moving to the Ashcroft Lecture Theatre for the main part of the evening. For further information or to reserve a space please contact the Development & Alumni Office on 0845 196 4715 or email alumni@anglia.ac.uk