Graduate’s business is built on strong foundations thanks to UON

Member News

A graduate is
building a solid business to help construction industry professionals, thanks
to University of Northampton (UON) support.

Collabed is
the brainchild of Alex Ramsden, who formed the company just a few months after
graduating from the University’s Architectural Technology degree in 2020.

It’s the
construction industry’s very own ‘Linkedin’, combining a jobs notification
board and professional networking platform. It helps those in the sector find
new opportunities and graduates to turn theory into practice by landing their
first professional post.

Thanks to a
helping hand from University’s Changemaker Incubator, Collabed is no longer
‘under construction’ but is built for success.

Changemaker Incubator is a University framework that connects organisations
across Northamptonshire by the value to people and society generated by how
they buy from their suppliers (‘social procurement’).

The Incubator
also provides expertise, resources, and funding to deliver high value social
impact collaboration. Through the Incubator, voluntary, charity and social
enterprise organisations can access dedicated support from the University and
have a direct link to working with UON students.

Alex says:
“The Changemaker Incubator has been instrumental in getting Collabed from a
great idea to where it is now, a digital ‘bridge’ between university and the
world of work.

University provided 121 business mentoring for my initial idea, helping me to
build it from the foundations up. I also received two development grants
totalling £7500. I’m now at a point with Collabed where I have gone out for
crowdfunding investment to add ‘more floors’ and make it into a scalable
business. In short, I couldn’t have gotten where I am without them.”

Jay Baughan,
the University’s Social Entrepreneur in Residence, adds: “Alex’s superb
initiative is the very definition of what we hope to achieve with the
Changemaker Incbuator, the first-time one of our students has crowdfunded a
start-up enterprise. This is how the business world moves in the here and now
and Alex shows clear direction for others to follow.

“The Incubator
actively builds on the existing Changemaker ethos that runs through University
of Northampton. Namely, supporting and developing projects from student, staff
and members of our community that have demonstrable, positive impact on people,
society, and the environment. These projects and people are also keyed in to
major, social procurement players across Northamptonshire and beyond, ensuring
the maximum value for the ‘social impact pound’.”