Sam Ryan, Barney Williams and James Gupta

A chat in a Leeds bar between two undergraduates led to the development of JumpIn, a taxi-booking and sharing mobile application for students.

“By focusing on the Leeds student community and building in reporting networks we’ve made the service secure,” said Accounting and Finance student Sam Ryan. “Taxi-sharing is common in the US, for example, but we’ve had to overcome the UK’s negative perception of sharing taxis with strangers.”

Sam and Environment and Business student Barney Williams were joined in the project by Medicine student James Gupta who had the technical knowledge to make the app idea a reality. The three formed a company, Forefront Innovations & Solutions Ltd, with JumpIn as its first project. “We wrote a business plan and approached angel investors for our initial capital and also applied for a start-up loan through a government scheme,” said Sam. “We didn’t contact Spark until later, but when we did they gave us lots of advice and support. We received proof of concept funding which helped with legalities and also third prize in the 2013 Spark business plan competition.”

Working with two Leeds taxi companies, JumpIn’s open trial started in April and the service has been growing in popularity. There are plans to roll out the service and expand into other student cities and business sectors.


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