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Start up firm links up with University of Kent for Global research

Posted on 12/07/16

Ronnie McBryde has yet to decide the name for his business; the focus for the past year at Discovery Park has been perfecting a new data product that will help global business to think and become more sustainable.

Only once that is complete will he turn to deciding the right name for his new marketing tool and there is plenty still to do – but with collaboration, both on and off site that day is coming into view.

In recent weeks the Sandwich based entrepreneur, formerly the Head of Research with market analysis company Mintel International, has linked up with students from the University of Kent to aid his research.

Helen Mullen, from Deal, is in the first year of a BA(Hons) degree in Business Administration at the university’s Canterbury Campus. She has been supporting Ronnie by researching supply chain management amongst global retailers, as well as helping to develop the company’s forecasting methodologies.

She previously spent six years as a case manager with Kent County Council, supporting deaf and blind people. Her ambition, once her studies are complete, are to work for a social enterprise focused on sustainability.

“It’s been really useful fortnight, giving me a good understanding of data collection in the real world and how that can differ from the theory taught at university, “ Helen said.

“Ronnie also gave me some good advice on marketing and an insight into the different approaches made by companies in both the private and public sectors.”

Canterbury-based Arthur Palmer, recently awarded a first class for his BA (Hons) Philosophy degree, has been analysing environmental data. This work will ultimately help lead to the development of a research toolkit enabling global organisations to compare disparate data on sustainability.

He said: “I gained a wider understanding of what research involves and the amount of work necessary to collect and analyse the data. Ronnie also gave great advice on marketing myself, including helping me with my CV and covering letters.”

Having completed his placement, Arthur is now working for another tenant on site as a office assistant, before embarking on two years of further studies to become a corporate lawyer.

In addition to support from the University of Kent, Ronnie has been developing various elements of the fledgling new business from his Start Up Zone office with colleagues in Paris, London and Budapest.

“Things are gathering pace – and it has been invaluable having the students here to use their research skills to support me as we step closer to launching the product. The Employability Points Scheme at the University of Kent has been an excellent way to build connections with local academic institutions. And I’ve learnt as much from the students as I hope they have learnt from me.”

Being located at Discovery Park has also helped – with his compact starter office providing the perfect retreat for thinking and setting out the plan for future business growth and success.

Ronnie added: “Our focus has been – product first, then the name. We’re making good progress and part of that has been thanks to being here at Discovery Park. It’s a fantastic work environment.”

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