Best student start-ups in Newcastle: our brightest entrepreneurs

While you sit on your sofa, they make millions

Last year we bought you Newcastle’s BMOCs, brand managers on campus, but what about Newcastle’s student entrepreneurs? While we sit on our sofas all day hungover, heads pounding, watching Dinner Date and eating Dominoes, there are students out there who create and build new companies from nothing.

By the time they graduate, these students will not only have good career experience, but they’ll probably be making all the dolla too. Ranging from pop up cafes to apps which help you choose your student house, this lot have been creative and shrewd.

Below we have culminated four of our very own best student entrepreneurs. Whilst BNOCs strut around campus and think they’re it, these guys are Newcastle’s real gold dust.


James, Finn, Will and Ollie: Bubble Student

Bubble Student is a student housing platform which allows students to browse thousands of properties, without getting stuck with only one agency from the beginning. You may have heard of them through their launch party in Club Trop last week. It is a free app and ready to download, which offers numerous advantages to finding a student house. Not only are there thousands of student properties available to browse, you can also set up group chats with your housemates and discuss your favourite ones. Once you have decided on the houses you wish to view, you can book viewings by typing @agent on your group chat. For example, @agent can we book a viewing?’ Luckily for us this business has been launched just in time for the student housing rampage.

This fun four have already gone through the qualms of choosing a house and, as they claim “student housing was a nightmare”, they aim to improve the process for Newcastle students. With so many different property agencies across Newcastle, they aim to make the process easier and as they are all students themselves they understand how shit it can be. They aim to expand the app to other UK cities after Newcastle.


Temi, Diego and Martin: Virtus

Temi and Diego are second year students at Newcastle, with Temi studying Psychology and Diego Computer Science, whilst Martin studies Art and Design Foundation at Kingston University. These young entrepreneurs have started a street wear label called Virtus. Virtus sells illustrated graphic pieces of clothing to like minded young people. The label appeals to students with a passion for “out-there” clothing.

They set up the business out of “passion” for current styles and clothes in general, as they commented “being able to just make a piece of clothing when we wanted to and share it with everyone was a game changer. Also being given a lump sum of cash from student finance certainly motivated us to do something productive instead of blowing it all”.

Temi, Diego and Martin aim to get amongst the bigger brands in the UK street wear scene. They know they have a long way to go,  but they think it’s reasonable goal with enough time and effort.

Not only are they creative, they are also seriously inspiring: “to anyone thinking of starting a business, don’t be afraid to go against the grain and try new things. It’s not easy but with enough preparation and the right team you’ll be surprised how far you can go”.


Olivia and Nieka: MAMA ZEN

Olivia recently graduated from Newcastle University with an English Literature and History degree and whilst still with us was the President of Newcastle University’s Entrepreneur Society. This pair met when Olivia worked for Nieka at Bunker Cafe and when the café closed they decided to start a new business together.

This hot duo wanted to continue the relationships they had built with their previous customers and the community around them. MAMA ZEN is a hip catering company, which also does events and pop up cafés. The food is home cooked clean food, so not only right on trend but great for students who could definitely benefit from a veggie or two.

They say their focus at MAMA ZEN is “more than food, it is about the community that food brings, it is about nourishing the body and soul, connecting people”.  They want create a safe space in which people can be creative and meet those around them. They are currently creating supper club pop-ups, and are building more events to get closer towards their vision.


Alex Munro and Dylan McKee: Hugo Guestlist 

Alex and Dylan started Hugo Guestlist over the summer and launched the business during Freshers Week. Hugo is a Facebook chatbot which can put you and your friends on a guestlist for Newcastle club events in a matter of seconds, all from Facebook Messenger. Alex, who is final year at Northumbria studying BioMed, and Dylan, who a third year at Newcastle studying Computer Science, started the business as they wanted to improve the experience of a night out in the Toon.

This business is handy to students gagging for a boogie and wanting to explore a bit more of the city events – Swingers every week can get a bit draining right? Alex and Dylan had this idea when Facebook launched their Messenger bots and they wanted to make something cool for students involving this idea. They aim to turn Hugo into a business in Newcastle and in the future expand to other lucky universities.

Students can add Hugo to Messenger from their website, and once you add him he’ll remain as a contact in your Messenger. When you and your friends are planning a night out simply drop Hugo a message and he’ll reply with all of the events happening in Newcastle that night.

They said “a night out starts with choosing where to go, and getting on the guestlist is a key part. With Hugo, you have a 24/7 sure-fire way of getting on guestlist for the events you love”.