From Monday 4 July to Friday 2 September, St Anne’s College and The Danson Foundation ran a pilot round of Incubator Projects to support students in starting their own businesses. Teams were provided with working capital and legal costs, office space and accommodation in College, and living expenses. They were offered dedicated mentoring from The Danson Foundation, and further tailored support from St Anne’s alumnae. Our thanks go to all those who supported this pilot scheme. Over the coming weeks, we will feature each of the three projects.
The first of the projects is Nearcut (William Bell, Andrew Firth, and Brodie Milne) which aims to eliminate queues in barbershops. They give barbers online tools to manage their businesses and allow the public to book in and jump the queue. Men across the UK can now get a haircut with their local barbershop without queuing for up to 3 hours at peak times. While barbers can maximise their time and do more business.
Nearcut entered the St Anne’s Incubator to refine its product for barbers and their customers, and reach more barbers across the UK.
Customers can now receive SMS and email reminders, as well as pre-pay for their haircut online. Their annual revenue stream has doubled during the Incubator.
St Anne’s offered its alumnae network to help the team gain experience and advice from notable, global businesspeople. The team found this vital in refining their strategies in all areas, particularly marketing and legal – areas in which many start-ups struggle. They plan to use the tools provided by the Incubator to continue the growth of their business in coming years.