Young business brains share their experiences

Published: 8 September 2008 at 13:13

Graduate entrepreneurs from Anglia Ruskin return to university for ‘Question Time’

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The Alumni Office at Anglia Ruskin University has invited three of its graduates, who have established their own successful businesses since leaving the University, to return to Rivermead campus, Chelmsford, on 16 October to take part in an informal ‘Entrepreneurs Question Time’ event at the Ashcroft International Business School. The evening event is a part of Anglia Ruskin University’s 150 Year Anniversary celebrations.

The three former students will be sharing their knowledge and experience, at the event to which anyone is invited, while answering questions about how they started and developed their businesses, and what they are planning to do in the future.

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

“These three Anglia graduates demonstrate that tremendous entrepreneurial ability to create ideas, develop and implement them.”

“They are all great role models who have a positive, flexible and adjustable disposition towards change seeing it as normal, and as an opportunity, rather than a problem.”

Andre Senyk, Managing Director of and Anglia Ruskin University 2007 Alumni Success in Business winner, will be telling the story of how he left the University in 2005 with a BSc (Hons) degree in Optical Management, worked at a high street optical store for 18 months and then left to set up a business to compete with major optical retailers. 

His online prescription glasses business, SpeckyFourEyes, was started in his bedroom at his parents’ home.

The site guides customers through the purchasing process, to buy products at a price considerably lower than the major retailers, and offers customers the ability to upload a picture of themselves to try frames on.  The business has come from nowhere and taken on the world of optometry and optical retail by storm.  His hard work and determination has resulted in the business smashing its forecast targets by 400% in the first quarter of 2007.  He has recently bought out a competitor and amalgamated the new business and its 10,000 customers into SpeckyFourEyes.

He will be joined on the panel by Lucy Crowe, Artistic Director of SIN Cru, who graduated in 2001 with a BA (Hons) in Communication Studies, pursued her love of hip-hop and started a business as a dance company which now covers dance, art and music.

SIN Cru is now an arts organization working within the creative industries, providing visual and performance artists for corporate and public sector clients.

Tom Bool, Managing Director of Integro Languages Translation Agency, is the third Anglia Ruskin graduate participating in the event.  During his BA (Hons) European Business degree at Anglia Ruskin, Tom discovered a taste for an international lifestyle, and a passion for languages. 

After qualifying as a language teacher in Spain, he went onto set up Integro Languages, a full service multi-language translation and interpretation agency.

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

The evening begins at 6.30pm with drinks on the Mezzanine floor of the Ashcroft International Business School and will move into the Ashcroft Lecture Theatre at 7pm for the presentations.  For further information or to reserve a space please contact the Alumni Office on 0845 196 4710 or email