New business embraces student talent
(26 February 2021)
A group of talented Durham students are at the heart of a new local business, set to launch in March 2021. Taxigoat aims to connect users to local taxi services, with founder and CEO Ross Pottenger describing the business model as ‘Just Eat meets Uber’.
Taxigoat has teamed up with the DICE Project (Durham Internships and Collaborative Enterprise Project) to employ three current Durham students on internships as brand ambassadors, to help plan and deliver the company launch and grow the business in its first year. The students come from all different areas of the University and are all at different stages of their degree.
The interns have a broad range of responsibilities which will develop their business skills, giving them real world experience to take with them into their careers once they graduate. Ross describes the brief he has given the students as being very broad, explaining how he is keen to use their specific knowledge of the student market in Durham to target the business appropriately. “One of the main priorities for the Durham interns at Taxigoat,” he states, “is to really get the brand and the business out there… they’ve been great.’One of the interns, Emily Whitewick, a fourth year Music student, highlights the opportunities she has had to learn about the process of starting up a business, and the challenges involved in launching a start-up during a pandemic. In her role she has gained skills in using social media for marketing and publicity purposes, as well as honing her networking skills. “The skills I am learning right now, I hope, will benefit me in any career path I take after University.”
Tom Gidney, another Taxigoat intern, currently in his second year studying Finance has used his internship to develop his creativity and lateral thinking, and increase his business and commercial awareness. He explains how helpful the experience has been in his application for a placement year:. “I’ve learnt how to effectively communicate with my colleagues and navigate the trials and tribulations of digital employment.” He continues, “Overall, it has so far been a very well rounded experience, which has balanced light-hearted fun with a sense of real business impact.”
The DICE project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and seeks to support local businesses to harness the knowledge and enterprising skills of Durham University students and recent graduates, to introduce new products and services through a 50% funded internship programme. The paid internships are an excellent way to introduce students and graduates to the opportunities available to them, both in SMEs and in the North East, whilst also ensuring the region benefits from retaining talent.
Taxigoat will launch to the public later this year - visit their website for more info: taxigoat.com
For more information on the DICE project and the options available for businesses, visit durham.ac.uk/careers/employers/recruitment/workexperience/dice