UCLe Student Design Exhibition


Friday at 11:00–16:00 3 days from now

14°C/6°C Partly Cloudy

South Cloister, UCL WC1E 6 London, United Kingdom

The UCLe Design Exhibition is a showcase of the creativity and talent in the student population. Submitted T-shirt designs have been selected and will be exhibited in the South Cloisters on Friday 20th March.

Come along to see the student designed t-shirts and also for some free refreshments. Some of the designers will also be in attendance and to talk more about themselves. The exhibition will be open from 11am until 4pm all day Friday so feel free to drop by anytime to browse the designs.

Designs will also be available for order at only £8 each with a portion of the profits going towards Global Brigades. Global Brigades is an amazing initiative where students fundraise the money to embark on a volunteering trip to developing countries. This years Brigade will be working to improve the water infrastructure in Honduras so please come along to support student innovation and water development!

Finding passion in the New Entrepreneurs Foundation.

Entrepreneurship is hard. Don’t deny it – rewarding, exciting, challenging, but also hard. Sometimes, you are brimming with enthusiasm but just don’t have the right idea. Other times, you have an abundance of ideas and you keep starting up but nothing seems to fit and you keep failing. Or maybe you don’t – but you don’t feel like you are reaching that next step of the business that can keep you going.


Well, it turns out I have something for you. The New Entrepreneurs Foundation is offering paid (!!!) work placements to 35 very dedicated individuals at innovative and growing businesses. Let me give you a bit of a breakdown on the whats and whos.


What will I be doing?


The programme lasts for one year and this will be a busy one. Don’t expect this to be some chilled out gap year – oh no, you will be so deep in entrepreneurship you’ll start hustling with inanimate objects out of habit.


  1. The Placement: unless you have your own gig in full swing, you will be allocated to one of the NEF sponsors. To them, you are a free employee, since it’s actually the NEF who is paying you. That said, you will be doing everything: participate, work hard, innovate and even shadow the CEOs on their private jets. The host companies change every year, but the foundation is very flexible. Is there a fast growing company that you want to see from the inside? Persuade the NEF to add them to the host list and sponsor your placement there.


  1. Fast-Track Programme: this is your training in professional workshops given by some of the big sponsors – Deloitte, McKinsey, Tesco, LBS, UCL and other specialist providers. Come here with an open mind! Alumni tell us that this is where they realised how little they actually knew about entrepreneurship despite having multiple ventures already. You will get time to study, but expect this to pack your time. Finance, venture capital, resilience, pitching days preparation, technical skills (from an idea to launch) – they will teach you all of it.


  1. Speakers and networking events: I won’t be the one to open your eyes. Of course networking is bread and butter for an entrepreneur. You know that, I know that, the NEF knows that. So don’t worry, you’ll have chance to interact with a lot of interesting people. Speakers like Brent Hoberman, Charles Dunstone, Sherry Coutou and Lord Young of Graffham. Alumni, who have passed through what you are passing and are already putting skills to use. Your own cohort – don’t make a mistake, these people will be as crazy and dedicated as you are so it’s very likely you’ll go on to do great things side by side!


  1. Executive Coach: Ever wondered how come CEOs and big investors are so good at what they do? Well, apart from natural talent and experience, they also get training! And you, should you embark on this glorious adventure with the NEF, will also get access to those coaches.


  1. Business Mentor: regardless of whether you already have a business idea or not, you will start getting ideas very rapidly once you join. And once you latch onto something, business mentors will be there to advise you on how to proceed. Support all the way.


  1. Outreach Programme: entrepreneurship is as much about you profiting from your innovation as it is about the world reaping the benefits of your brilliant mind. So you will sometimes give back by going to schools and youth organisations and spreading entrepreneurial spirit.


Does that sound good so far? Let’s go over some of the benefits you will 100% get from this year.

  • A huge network of entrepreneurs and professionals, there when you will need them.
  • A year of working with people who dig it as much as you do. Maybe even deeper.
  • No strings attached – the New Entrepreneurs Foundation is a registered UK charity and not an accelerator, so you are not getting into any shady contracts that ask for your first-born (project) in small print.
  • You don’t have to have an idea already – in fact, once you get into it, you will be putting down ideas all the time.
  • Expanded mind. Let’s be honest, sometimes you can get into a downward spiral. You might accept that failure is part of your life, but being hit by it repeatedly can grind you down. With this programme, you get a chance for a clean slate restart.
  • From previous years, with 70 ideas generated by the cohort, 40 will survive and 5-6 will be funded within the next year. Pretty good odds.

That sounds so good you might want to jump straight in! Unfortunately I do have a very cold bucket of water for you. Be aware that:

  • There are only 35 places, this will be a tough competition.
  • The NEF is, in the end, a UK charity. Sorry if you are outside the EU, because without a permit to work in the UK, you can’t apply. The companies cannot sponsor you.
  • The selection process can be pretty tough. Details below.
  • You need to be able to show your entrepreneurship passion. Charity, society work, your own start-up. By the way, did you know UCLe has a fund, there is a Hackathon coming up AND the Student enterprise hub is in just a week’s time? You have to be aware of all these opportunities going on around you.
  • Think really hard if you want to do this. The year is not easy and you have a lot of work. If you go into it, you go into it completely.


Now, this is it. This is what you have been waiting for. How to apply.

Deadline: 6th March.

You are: typically graduate, or on 2nd job, or self-sponsored with a business or with any other proof of entrepreneurial experience.

They want: entrepreneurship potential, leadership skills, motivation, commitment, and resilience. Wait, let me make that clear – resilience.

(NB: “entrepreneurship potential”, for all its vagueness, boils down to being likable and your ability to hustle.)

Online application questions: What is the most entrepreneurial thing you have done? Be passionate and frame it in the most entrepreneurial way you can. Think about the times you have failed and how you have learned from them. Always point back to how your ‘thing’ relates to what They want.

Video interview: once you get an invitation, you have one week to prepare. Be careful, each answer is 2 minutes and you only get 1 chance to record!

Numeracy and Verbal test: these are as standard as they get. I find practiceaprtitudetests, SHLDirect and TalentLens to be very useful for practice. You need practice.

Assessment center: on 17th or 19th of March you will come in and go through a pitch and presentation exercise. Don’t sweat it and do your best.

Interviews: There are actually two rounds. First, with trustees and NEF team panel. They will be the final challenge to you. Pass through them and you pass into the programme. The second interview is actually a host company matchmaking process. This you will need to actually decide which company you want to work for and which company wants you. For this stage, my advice is smile, dress appropriately and remember that you are talking to humans.



This is it. This is NEF. Will you apply?


If you have any questions or want access to some commentary form either current members of the programme or the alumni, you are vey welcome to pester me or programme director Celia Staton or check out the FAQs.


All about those apps!

One of the biggest issues you will encounter on your path to a successful venture is the eternal question: “How do I get money?” While we will explain (albeit later) how you can go about getting that starting capital, let’s start with what our generation considers to be a simpler solution: developing apps!

Now, it’s not easy. While you have almost no costs for developing apps outside your time and ability to find a designer who works for food, it also means that you have a lot of competition. The bar is low, the risk of losing your idea is high and, unless you have done an incredible amount of market research and finding your target audience, apps have a very hard time being noticed.

Let’s see what we can do to make your entrance a bit easier.

First of all, whether you are a free thinking spirit of Android developer or if you bow down to your Apple overlords, check their websites. Both have advice and a checklist that we authors extremely encourage you to go through before you embark on this… adventure.

The best way to market an app is to identify a market segment and how your app will change the way customers are currently served. The most important thing to do before you release your app is to test it for bugs as the peak sales will take place during the initial release of the app and a bug-free app will receive positive customer reviews.

Make sure that you provide a description about what your app does and include screenshots. You need to tell your customer about the key features of your app and this should persuade them to download it. You can also include your direct competitor by mentioning that this app is similar to app X and does perform X features so that your app can come up in search results.

For iOS, you can reach a wider customer base by changing the date of your app. This means that when you submit your app, the date defaults to the date you submitted rather than when it was made available on the Apple store. By changing the date, the app will be listed within the new apps section and can help you drive more sales.

To market your app on iOS, you can also offer a free version which will have ads so that the user can test the app and if they like it then they can purchase the app so that they don’t have to see the ads. Also you can provide some promo codes to market your app and reach a wider audience. This can be in the form of releasing the app free for a day or something similar. However, don’t pay for reviews from a website because most of them charge a lot of money. This means that if they cannot get enough views of their website, they surely won’t be able to market your app.

Android offers developers store listing pages that you can edit through their Developer console. Become very familiar with what Developer Console can offer you, since the success or failure of your marketing campaign will hinge on how appealing your store listing page looks. Get videos, graphics and pictures ready: you will need them.

Also for Android, you can create (Android approved and encouraged) badges that you can stick everywhere. Those badges are just very stylish looking links that will immediately open your store listing page on the Android device.

As always, get Social. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Deviantart, Google+ (not kidding) and YouTube to market your app. This will enable you to get in touch with your customers and will allow you to receive feedback on your app. You can improve on your app’s performance by getting in touch with your app’s users. You can use YouTube to create a video about your app if it is a gaming or entertainment app. This will allow your users to demo your product and there is an opportunity for the video to go viral which will help you to increase your sales.

Social media and internet is fantastic because you don’t have to limit yourself to just one country. Why publish in the over-saturated UK app market when you can drop by in Italy where developers might not have thought of that particular issue your app can solve? That means extra work on localisations, but it comes with a handy side-effect of more customers and hence more revenue.

Have any comments? Want to share your app launch experience and add something we missed? Pester us with emails. We really want emails here.


“Getting out of bed was just about the hardest thing I’ve done in my life this morning.”


How the times have changed!

I wrote the above quote almost a year ago, the day I was going to my first (and world’s fifth) NACUE event – the Student Enterprise Conference 2014. This time, it’s different. I don’t really mind that it is 5a.m. and that my alarm is supposed to go off only in another half an hour. I am far too pumped to get to the station and onto the train to Liverpool for #TheSEC2015.


The National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs (NACUE) is an organisation that has the goal of economical development in their mind. Wait, let me put that less dryly: they ensure entrepreneurship grows, they help young professional connect to build the perfect teams and they advocate for the whole entrepreneurship community within the UK’s educational system. In a way, it really represents what the entrepreneurship community is about.


This is not about a gala of big businessman organising parties only for other businessmen and their inner circles – yes, I am speaking about you, Davos. This is about everyone: everyone who wants to bring their ideas to life, everyone who wants to network, everyone who wants to create and be in charge of their own life. Your age, gender, ethnicity, and current success – all of that matters little here. A 16-year-old girl speaks up in a huge auditorium, asking for advice on how she could start her own business. Instead of just the speaker panel, however, the whole auditorium is ready to give directions.


There are many opportunities here, from networking, to Santander to NACUE’s own new talent bank. There are talks on how to start, grow, pitch and export your business. The latter one had Liverpool parliamentary candidate sit with us and advise on branching out in different countries. The variety is almost overwhelming: our small delegation of 3 has to separate to cover more ground. I target softer skills, such as teamwork and work organisation in @lead_now workshops. My colleagues go for the more dynamic talks by biggest entrepreneur names here. Both attend the talk by Ben Towers (@TowersBen), the youngest star on this conference and, to use the headline, “age 16 with 15 staff”. I ask how it went. They, two guys with start ups, ideas, drive, in their second year of university, reply with “He’s just amazing.” What a society to be alive in.


Here it is safe. This weekend is a break for many, to reflect and share and refocus. Failures are hard. Failures are very likely when you become an entrepreneur. But failures are an experience, just as vital as success. And what separates entrepreneurs from most is that entrepreneurs do it regardless of how unlikely their chances of success are or what their background is. This, in ever inspiring words of Tim Barnes, was the theme of the conference: “You don’t have to be the most popular at school or the richest, you have to be the one who DOES”.


Thank you for having us, NACUE. This was truly an inspirational weekend for all of us. We are very excited to see Johnny Luk at UCL tonight. Hope you will enjoy it here as much as we enjoyed #TheSEC2015!


So, you want to be an entrepreneur…

So you think you can be an entrepreneur?


You have it all thought through. Your business plan is in its final drafts, your team is pumped out, your funding is there to back you up when the process starts. You are prepared to register a company now. How do you do it?


First make a basic list of what you know:

Is your age appropriate, i.e. are you over 16?

Do you have that funding?

Is there any other company that might sue you the moment you go into the market?

If you are selling services or goods, is there a place where you can settle?

Do you have cash to spare or are you ready to sacrifice a bit of your time yourself?

Should you name your company, does the name pop up here?

On the fence still? Have you tried out the events that Company House offers?


Before we start: are you an international businessperson-to-be? The process for registration follows the same steps, but be prepared! One of the biggest problems that an international applicant will face is to obtain a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. The reason for this is that the individual has to meet certain requirements which include:

  • having access to at least £50,000 investment funds held in 1 or more regulated financial institutions.
  • being able to spend that money to start a business in the UK.
  • English Language requirement, usually through English qualification exams such as IELTS.
  • being able to support themselves during their stay.



Most of these might already be part of your business plan anyway. So let’s look at what you need to do for…




Any registration you do will go through Company House and will have to be confirmed with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, for tax purposes. They will be the devils you know, love, and invite over for tea on Sundays. I suggest you start by getting an organisation account with HMRC, as it takes a while for it to get verified. But wait! That check list has so many options! Which do I tick?


First you need to decide what type of a company you are.


Are you the only owner of the company? Maybe you employ some people but essentially you are the big boss. Then you are a Sole Trader (a.k.a. legit self-employed). Dig up your insurance number and unique tax payer reference (UTR), register for self-assessment with Her Majesty’s Revenue and customs, and choose a name to work under, either your own or something fancy, like Goldilocks Shampoo Emporium. Make sure it is all right to use it by searching for it on the Company’s House register. You also might want to start getting better at maths, since taxes are up to you to calculate too.


  • Keep records of everything you buy and sell for the business, keep it all in a neat pile preferably with a dragon to guard it.
  • Get self-assessment done at HMRC as soon as you can otherwise you get penalised. And make HM officials’ sad. You wouldn’t want that, would you?
  • So many income taxes. Even if you have no taxes to pay, you must still send tax returns to HMRC. You have to pay the National Insurance

Made it big, above £81’000? You will have to pay VAT as well. You can check if you really need to pay them online or call nice people at self-assessment if you are lost. You might also drop by and see TaxAid for some free advice.

  • You might want to register for VAT. You don’t get taxed unless your turnover is over £81’000, but you do get the ability to reclaim VAT from business supplies. Online is the better option and once you get your VAT number, you can use it for your organisation
  • Can’t deal with long spread sheets? Tax forms make you panic? Suddenly can’t talk in English? Do not worry. It’s perfectly OK to get someone else to do it for you, be it a professional accountant or your mom. Mind you, the deadlines are extremely important, even if the nice people at HMRC do keep sending you updates. If you are not in charge of taxes, you have to make absolutely sure that whoever does taxes for you is on top of their schedules.
  • Self-employment doesn’t mean you need to be alone. Hire people, if you so desire, but don’t forget to register that with HMRC. Trust me, not following that through can cost you £2’500 a day.


There you go. Now you can become a self-employed Sole Trader. Last thing: registering a company is not the same as getting a trademark. That has to be registered separately with IPO Office.


Now, let’s say the idea is not wholly yours. You have business partners and they are ready to share the legal responsibility for this venture you are embarking on. If that is so, and by that I mean you are all ready to share the burden of debts, you can register a Partnership. They all share features common with Sole Trader, except there is also a separate

And now it gets a bit tricky. See, there are a few types of partnerships. Lets first dissect General Partnership. In this case, every partner gets full responsibility for the company. That means the debts as well. But you also pay a lower tax rate. You win some you lose some.


Here is what you need to do:


  • Choose a name and make sure it’s like no other. (Hint: One letter difference doesn’t make it special)
  • Choose the address – it will become pubic and it will also be the address to receive all the communications.
  • All of you must be registered for self-assessment. No, you can’t skip it ever.
  • All of you will be paying the income taxes and National Insurance.
  • One of you will have to be the nominated partner. This is the person who will have to be brewing the tea for HMRC. They will be taking care of all the records and sending of partnerships tax returns.
  • You might want to register for VAT. You don’t get taxed unless your turnover is over £81’000, but you do get the ability to reclaim VAT from business supplies. Online is the better option and once you get your VAT number, you can use it for your organisation




  • Partnership tax returns are different from normal tax returns, but they follow the same deadlines.
  • They can be filled in by paper or online with an account. However, online forms will require you to buy software. You can also hire an outside professional, if you so desire.
  • Using your own address as business address may be uncomfortable, but remember too that whatever your business address is, it has to exist and exist in the same country where the business is registered. Don’t use your Canadian address.
  • Registering does not give you trademark protection. You have to beat that out of the IPO services.


Alright, that’s general partnership where everyone is equal and an individual. What else is there? Limited Partnership. This repeats the structure and requirements of a general partnership, except now some of the partners are “limited” i.e. the are there to give money and receive profits, but don’t make any management decisions. That means that, should your Shampoo Emporium go up in fires, they will only be liable for as much debt as they put in.


What else do you need to do?

  • The general partners do very much the same thing as before, except now they also have to register with the Company House using their form. This is where you will designate who is the general partner and who is getting off easy.
  • The registration in this case is £20, if you are ready to wait 5 days. If not, send it before 3pm and add a £100 cheque as well as “Same day incorporation on the envelope. Just fill in the form and send it off to the appropriate Company House Office.
  • They can also apply for ACS – authorised contractual scheme. This is where all you have is pooled and managed by you, as if you were a corporation, but the taxes are only deducted from you shares of any profits. Handy, right? Sadly this is only possible once you go through Financial Conduct authority and only then file that to Company House. Damn bureaucracy in action.
  • The Limited partners still have to be registered for self-assessment.
  • General Partners go through the same hoops as in a general partnership.




  • You can hire someone else to deal with your taxes
  • Any changes, be it address, phone numbers, amount contributed by a limited partner – all has to be reported to the Company House if you don’t want it to come back and bite you.
  • All records have to be kept for 4 years.



You probably think we can be done with partnerships? No. There is another one, safer than the previous two. At this point you are asking yourself, why do I care about the safety? See, regardless of whether you employ people or not, you need to have your business insured. The Limited Liability Partnership is a lot cheaper to get insured, since the partners don’t actually fully become responsible for the business debts, only to some extent.

So, what’s the deal this time?


  • There have to be at least 2 designated partners. They will keep all the records, deal with the Company House, register the partnership for self-assessment, register for taxes and will be the first to deal with any bounty hunters that coming knocking.
  • You have to get a solicitor. He will help you form a contract that will stand up in court in case you run into rough seas. What is your LLP going to do? Who is in charge of what? How many members are there?
  • All members have to be registered for…wait for it…self-assessment tax return!
  • Designated members shouldn’t forget about sending off annual accounts and annual return to Companies House, as well as inform it of any changes. This all can be done with a very handy WebFiling




  • You can have someone else do your taxes.
  • You need a physical address to register your company and it has to be in the same country as your business. But before you say ‘home’, think about it, do you want HMRC and Company` House and the rest of the world to know where you live?
  • A LLP requires outsiders at some point. It might just be easier to hire to a company do the whole process for you.
  • Should the company get dissolved, every partner won’t be liable for the debts of the company – but the designated partners will be representing the partnerships after it breaks apart.
  • Any changes have to be reported. Their registration costs £10 and £50 for “Same day incorporation”
  • For any partnerships, until the contracts and papers are signed to make your business a limited one, every partner is treated as a general partner. Bought supplies before having signed a solicitor made contract but something went wrong? You are all responsible for the debts equally.


Alright, now that you know what awaits you, this is how you register on your own. Actually there are a few ways, depending on your law and tech-savvy.


  • Register electronically! And you don’t have to buy someone else’s software (for which you have to register anyway), you can develop your own by asking for specification from xml@companieshouse.gov.uk.
  • Use an agent! The pay may be above what you’d have to dole out for self-registration, but it might be really worth the hassle.
  • Paperwork! Just like with a LP, you will need to fill out the forms, put in a £40 cheque, payable to Company House, (or a £100 if you want a same day service and write “Same day incorporation”) and send it off to the address stated on the form! This is perhaps more straightforward than software, but remember, you will have to be sending off reports to Company house using software of some sort anyway.


We are done with partnerships now! If you actually read all of the above, good job, get yourself a beer or any other drink that you prefer to drink after hard work.

Just kidding, we have one more to go. It’s all good, you can do it.


Limited Company (Ltd)! This is where you believe you are ready to become a director and also ready to take on shareholders. If you decide to be limited by shares ‘limited by shares’, then shareholders will be buying your shares and receiving some dividends, but should the push come to shove, they will only be liable for any shares they were issued at the start. Alternatively, you can be limited by guarantee i.e. every member guarantees to back up the company to a certain amount.


What you need:


  • A nice acceptable name
  • An existing address in the same country as registry. Choose wisely.
  • You, i.e. the director. There can be many directors, but at least one of them has to be human. The directors take You might also want to hire a secretary, just watch out to make sure they are not bankrupt when you hire them.
  • Someone to buy your shares/guarantee financial back up. Can’t be limited without that.
  • Memorandum of associationk.a. the agreement that this company is to be created
  • Statement of Capital a.k.a. what are the shares and what you can do with them. It is basically The Constitution for you money. This is divided into 3 sections:
    • ‘Share capital’, where you state how many shares you issued.
    • Names and addresses of all the members.
    • ‘Prescribed particulars’ or what can members do with shares: can they vote on company matters depending on how many shares they have, how much money you pay per share, can they redeem their shares for money.
  • Articles of association a.k.a. how you think you will run the company, depending on whether you limit by shares or guarantee. By the way, you can write your own if you don’t want to register online.





  • Involves a lot more official documents, but most of them can be filled in a template form and online.
  • Directors’ addresses will be revealed to the public unless you have a very good reason not to have them reveal. (E.g. you are female and your company’s sole purpose is to stop Gamergate and MRM)
  • You can hire someone else to do your taxes, but in fact with a corporate tax HMRC will work out when and how much you need to pay. As long as you keep up with their mails, it is manageable to do yourself.
  • Speaking of – you have to register within three months with HMRC. If they seem to be taking their time in sending you your Reference, call
  • Keep your accounts for 4 years.
  • For HMRC, keep the date of founding, company name and number, address, type of business, date of annual accounts so that you have no problems upon registration.


Have all that prepared? Then let’s start registering!


  • Online is the quickest and cheapest way. Directly through company house, it costs £15, takes 24 hours and accepts PayPal. Some of my trips to McDonalds took more effort. This is only possible to use if you are limited by shares though, and use standard articles of association.
  • Not your cup of tea? You, as always, can use an agent! Prices can vary though.
  • Use software, if you are tech-savvy. Once again, if you want to build from scratch, just email xml@companieshouse.gov.uk and they’ll give you the specifics.
  • Last, you can fill out IN01 (and it’s continuation for more than one director/shareholder) and send it. It costs £40 for a registration within 8 to 10 working days and £100 if you lack the patience and want it registered within 24 hours. Post the application to the address stated on the form with the cheque made payable to Companies House.


Shortly after you register with Companies House, HMRC will send you your new and shiny Unique Taxpayer Reference that you can register online for corporate tax.


This is it! You registered your Ltd.! I am very proud of you right now.


Having specific problems you feel are unique to you? Call business support line!





Talk by CEO Of NACUE



Johnny Luk, the CEO of NACUE will be speaking on “Making non profit companies more commercial and the role of the Government in business enterprise.”

The National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs (www.nacue.com) is a membership organisation with a mission to create the most impressive student talent pool ever known. They provide experience and knowledge to those setting up and running enterprise societies, services to institutions that want to establish an enterprising culture among their students, and policy solutions to the government.

About Johnny Luk

Johnny is the CEO of the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs (NACUE), working with entrepreneurial students across 200 UK campuses. Before this, he was a Senior Policy Advisor and then the Deputy Head of Strategy for Entrepreneurship in the UK Government. He is also the co-Founder of Inspired & Hired, an award winning social enterprise and co-Founder of The Dream Foundation, a knowledge-sharing platform between UK and China. He has also authored a book, “The Grad Job Game”


Happy New Year!


Happy new year!

Welcome back!

We’ve just launched our new website!

Our website will now feature a live feed, this post is a part of it, the feed will contain all our updates and events!

In the future, the feed will begin to feature video content as part of a channel we are launching.

Sign up to the society to hear more, it’s easy to sign. Simply join the mailing list for free membership. Find out more on the join page!