While at the University of the West of England, Bristol, Jamie Rawsthorne struck on the idea of creating a business to help higher education institutions predict – and prevent – students dropping out. Co-founded in 2014 with George Sanderson, Unique Insights’ predictive analytics software helps universities spot vulnerable students early on. So what’s the secret to his success?
Who or what has inspired you? My mother. She’s executive head-teacher of three challenging schools in the heart of Manchester and works extremely hard. She’s had an impact on many lives through great leadership in education.
What’s been your most pivotal moment so far? Getting on the business accelerator programme MassChallenge. There were more than 800 applicants but only 90 businesses were given access to free office space in central London and world-class mentors. Spending time with other business owners was really useful in helping take the business idea to market.
Where do you get your ideas? Everywhere. I’m always writing notes on my phone or notepad. I remember friends laughing at me while skiing in the Alps and I was writing ideas on my phone.
How and where do you network? At university-sector events as much as possible. Face-to-face communication makes all the difference, especially if you’ve not met someone before.
What’s the secret of your success? Hard work, focusing on clients and always being ready to adapt to change.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far? Keep going, keep going, keep going. Failures and setbacks sometimes feel like the end of the world, but the faster you get back up, the better.