Find out what life is really like at Durham University

CareersEntrepreneurshipStudent experience

My Journey Through the Blueprint StartUp Challenge

It was only five months ago when my high school friend, Miika Korja, gave me a call to discuss an idea he had about a social enterprise. We chatted for nearly an hour and a few weeks later, he sent me some notes he had written. This was the birth of Lumi, a technical solution for helping individuals and businesses effortlessly measure and offset their carbon footprints.

With this goal in mind, Miika got another friend on-board: Jasper Ginn, who is an experienced data scientist and will be in charge of the back-end development of Lumi.

 The Challenge

Our next steps were clear. We had to start developing the idea, creating a solid business plan, and raising funds. That is why we decided to apply to the Blueprint StartUp Challenge, This competition gave us the chance to win £5,000, which is half of the initial target we need to start developing Lumi. But, more importantly, it gave us an excuse to start developing our idea properly: It made us think about the problem we are trying to solve and prepare a financial forecast. We also had to look for competitors and understand what our competitive advantage is. Finally, it pushed us to carry out initial market research which, with around 210 participants, gave us very encouraging results!

This was a good way for us to get the ball rolling in a serious way. Moreover, it gave us access to many advisors in different important topics such as marketing, financial forecasting and idea development. And what a rollercoaster this past month has been! With all this help from the Durham Careers and Enterprise Centre, we have been able to develop a compelling business plan with strong revenue streams. More thrillingly, only one week ago, I was able to give a 10 minutes pitch to four judges as part of the final stage of the Blueprint Challenge.

Our Business Venture

As of now, we are still waiting for the results of the challenge while we are applying to other competitions and approaching possible sponsors. Regardless of whether we manage to turn this project into reality or not, working on Lumi has been very exciting. We strongly believe that climate change is a defining challenge for our generation, and are serious about helping individuals mitigate the impact they have on the environment. By making the process of measuring our individual carbon footprint effortless, engaging, and fun, we hope to catalyse a large pool of people who are interested in climate topics, but that aren’t currently measuring or offsetting their footprints.

If you are interested in our idea and want to find out more, do not hesitate to contact me andres181192@gmail.com

Andres Olivares

Hi I’m Andres, I am a final year Particle Physics PhD student, originally from Spain but I have lived in the UK for almost 8 years. I am a Hatfield student and enjoy traveling, boxing and judo. Connect with me twitter, Linkedin
Sign up to our Mailing List