After graduating with a Multimedia Computing BSc degree, Greg Preece worked in Australia, Canada and London for Metro, Monitise and Microsoft. He then combined his IT skills with his passion to start his own software business and documented his progress on his YouTube channel Start Starting Up.
He said: Id become frustrated and disillusioned with the standard 9 to 5, career ladder focused approach to living in the UK. I went away to learn some new skills, to create my own income on my own terms and to live more freely and independently.
He came back to the UK to study an MSc in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship with the Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies (CEES) at the University of Leeds.
I saw this postgraduate degree with CEES as an opportunity to develop my entrepreneurial mind-set and build my career, he said.
During his studies, Greg won an Enterprise Scholarship from Spark, the Universitys start-up service, to help develop his new business. The scholarships provide students with £3,000, and intensive training and support to help them progress their ventures. Sparks support has enabled Greg to blend his studies with his business aspirations, moving him closer to turning his digital projects into a successful business model.
The enterprise scholarships are funded through the generosity of Leeds alumni, who also often mentor students. Greg had the opportunity to meet his scholarship donor, who graduated from Leeds in 1968.
To be awarded an enterprise scholarship and then to meet the donor who made all this possible was incredible, he said. My donor was very welcoming and excited to meet me, and, as he had a tech background himself, I came away with some solid business advice too. Im very thankful to him for his generosity.
Greg has benefited from access to Sparks advisors, mentors and business experts, as well as the opportunity to use top-class incubator space to develop his business. He has secured office space in the city centre, at the heart of Leeds digital sector.
Leeds has a thriving digital community that makes studying here and working here all the more interesting. Enterprise at Leeds has given me access to an influential network of events and meet-ups making it so much easier to make friends, share ideas and collaborate. And of course complete my Masters degree whilst doing so.