Thursday, 1 May 2014

Graduate looks to expand his business

Our programmes provide a platform to many varied careers and opportunities.

UCLan SENS graduate Sam Marsh recently received national exposure for his invention which turned a tyre into a high intensity interval training device. The Jigsaw Flipper was subsequently incorporated into Wigan Warriors Academy teams' training sessions. We spoke to Sam to find about more.

Tell us about your time at UCLan and why people should study here?

The University is fantastic - big enough to feel like it's a great institution, but small enough that you seem to know everyone. I had the pleasure of playing Rugby Union during my time there and I'll stay in touch with the team for the rest of my life.

I graduated with a 2:1 in Sport and Exercise Science, and enjoyed a placement at McLaren's Formula 1 team in the health and wellbeing centre during my studies which inspired my dissertation topic. UCLan is like no other University.

I've never heard of lecturers who will happily meet with you outside of lectures and are generally happy to help with any problems you may face - plus their knowledge is incredible.

What did you enjoy?

The family feel of the campus and how there was never a dull moment. Joining the Rugby team was by far the best thing I did - I had the pleasure of being part of the team for three years. My course was fantastic and gave me the knowledge I needed to go off on my own and start my company.

What are you doing now?

I'm currently the Managing Director of Jigsaw Fitness Ltd. We design and build innovative fitness equipment for anyone from athletes to inactive people. We aim to engage through competition and by generating scores during functional training sessions. I started the company during my 2nd year at UCLan in 2012 and have since taken three products to market. We currently have some very exciting clients including the English institute of Sport.

What sort of challenges do you face?

I'm constantly questioned about the size of my company and if it will be able to sustain a large order which it certainly can! The business is relatively new to me, so I'm learning everything as I go along. I have a great support network around me including Neil Simpson from the UCLan Northern Lights team. He's incredibly helpful and always understands when I have a mad idea.

I'm also very lucky to have a father who is an entrepreneur - he is fantastically intelligent and guides me through everything. He also studied at UCLan and now has an international market-leading fuel management company.

What do you like about your role?

I love the freedom it allows me - I get to work from wherever I want. There are obviously drawbacks, but I'm very strong minded and love to be creative and innovative in whatever I do.

Working for someone wouldn't be the right thing, because I'd be a nightmare. Every day I'm building towards my goal and hopefully making a difference. The only person that can stop me is me.

What are your long-term aspirations?

I have many more ideas for other companies, and I'm aiming to launch my second later this year. I'd love to be able to have made a difference, by inspiring inactive people who find exercise boring to give it a go and have some fun with our equipment.

My industry is currently fairly stagnant and innovation seems to come in the form of fitting Social Media to products, rather than allowing the user to enjoy moving and using the product itself.

I’d like to be successful with what I've done, by building some truly remarkable products and experiences for people to enjoy. I have so many ideas of things I want to do across such a wide selection of markets. It's a very exciting time and I'd like to thank UCLan for its input along my journey.

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