Warwick graduate, Don Lee, shares his experience of launching a start-up.
What was your idea and how did it come about?
The idea was about offering British businesses an access into the Chinese market by offering promotional videos and translation services. It was developed by myself and a visiting lecturer in Warwick when I was studying in the second term. During the second term, I chose to study the course titled Cultural Entrepreneurship, which eventually turned my idea into a business plan.
What has been your greatest achievement?
My proudest moment was when I was endorsed by the University on the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Scheme. Other achievements include setting the company up, gaining investment, signing a contract with one of the biggest names in the jewellery business, Deakin & Francis. It has been a journey with constant surprises (and challenges as well).
What have been your biggest challenges?
The biggest challenge I face now is reaching out to potential customers. Previous challenges included building up a filming crew, finding partners, seeking finance, not being able to afford to feed yourself…
How did you overcome them?
I cannot say that I have overcome all of them. I am always trying to promote my business concept to friends, contacts that I have, etc. I have built a website to promote the services that we offer. I try to meet people from chamber of commerce and use personal connections in the UK. I believe that solutions are more than problems. I am still trying to overcome many challenges.
What advice would you offer to other entrepreneurs who are starting out?
Clear vision and mission; confidence in your idea; strong mind-set to persist; make contacts; focus.