Originally Published March 2012 on Elite Professionals.org: http://eliteprofessionals.org/2012/03/10/selly-oak-news/
It’s March! So it’s time for my next article for http://eliteprofessionals.org/ on UK based young professionals. This time it’s Hugh Hopkins and Selly Oak News. Are you from a Brummie business looking to target advertising at University of Birmingham Students? Give them a shout 😉
Hugh (the one in the pink), was in the same halls of residence as I was in my first year at uni. He’s always struck me as a highly ambitious and capable future businessman, so it was no surprise to me when I heard that, together with co-founders Nick Day and Jonathan Craven, he had set up his own business. And, unlike many student businesses, it was going places.
So, eager to find out what’s next on the agenda, I caught up with Hugh earlier this week
I’m in my third and final year at Birmingham University reading Business Management with Communications. In my first year I was elected the Entertainments Officer for my hall and it started a growing interest, as well as my confidence, in starting large projects and seeing them through. This also intertwined with my interest in the News and Media industry and how the internet is revolutionising the production and communication of content.
SO News provides instant news tailored to University of Birmingham students on an interactive and unbiased platform. Nick Day, Jonathan Craven and I founded the business about a year ago and we’ve already managed to turn a profit. We each have specialised roles but mine is to run day to day operations of the news and just push the business forward.
The idea came to us in a fast food shop. We were just chatting about Selly Oak and how information for students is fragmented and often out of date. Starting a news site to solve this seemed simple and since then the initial concept has grown significantly. We’ve created a platform on which we can create some truly great services and SO News is just the start.
It’s hard to pinpoint a moment but at times it has been a challenge to keep momentum. All three of us are still students and apart from our own desire to create a great service there are very few reasons why we should start and run our own business.
When we were awarded a £2,000 grant from Birmingham University’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation centre it transformed us into a serious business. It gave us a huge moral boost, meant we could invest in producing better content and organise ourselves as tangible business.
The future of SO News is highly dependent on the next few months but we aim to be the most innovative source of high quality news and media. We would have established offices in Shoreditch and launched our side projects SO TV, SO Film and SO Music. We hope by then for SO news to have gained an international audience and we would be considering expansion outside of Europe. As for myself, remaining instrumental and innovating the business.
Be part of a business you enjoy.