60 second start-up: Unii.com

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence:

Developed to capitalise on the recent trend for niche social networks, Unii.com is a network exclusive to students in UK higher education.

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

Unii.com is a student-only social network aimed at becoming a one-stop shop for students in higher education, allowing them to make the most of their time at university. The site helps them to build and maintain their network of fellow students, while also encouraging participation in the student lifestyle through societies, clubs and events.

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

We're lucky in that there's no 'direct' competition out there, due to the current gap in the market and specific USPs of Unii.com. Essentially, we differ from Facebook or traditional social media platforms as we are a bespoke product for a niche market. Students can make new friends, search for jobs as well as manage societies on a network that’s purely amongst their peers. 

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

We're a private network for those in higher education. Only students with a university accredited email address can sign up and make a profile page. So essentially, what happens at uni, stays at Unii.com

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

I started the site using my own income as a trader, alongside additional funding from private investors. We're still seeking further funding from investors that we can share our passion with.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

I was a trader at Credit Suisse before I left to set up Unii.com. I also have a degree in Physics from Imperial College under my belt. 

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

I was aware that other, larger, social networks had become too broad and had a gut instinct the student market (having recently been a student myself) was ready for something focused. There was a clear gap for a student brand that encompassed everything 'student'; from a social network designed specifically for those in education, to a company that provides services tailored to students' actual needs and living requirements. 

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

Getting out of the building. We understand that the first rule of tech is to go and speak to your users. We hosted numerous workshops to really understand what it was that students, societies and universities really wanted. They have been crucial to the development process of Unii.com and we could not have done it without them.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

If I'm honest we have no regrets for anything we've done! Trial and error is the best way to find out what works and what doesn't and sometimes you'll do something crazy and it will just happen to be the one thing that catches on like wildfire! 

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

A macaroon. There are so many colours and flavours to suit specific tastes. And that's what we try to do with Unii.com - build our features around our users requirements and preferences, to make sure our product is useful for the vast student audience. 

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

The creation of Virgin Group from Richard Branson - especially how quickly he jumped on the growing music industry in the 70's. I also like that he started out like me, as a young entrepreneur in the same industry, launching the magazine Student at just 16. 

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

We are expecting to see the launch of even more exciting additional features to Unii.com across the year, so watch this space! 

To find out more about Unii.com click here.

Catch up with last week's 60 Second Start-Up here.

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