Lancaster graduates set up their own business

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Lancaster graduates Andrew Pickering and Peter Gartland have set up their own design business. The company, called Andrew and Pete, creates websites and marketing materials (such as business cards and posters) specifically for start-up companies as well as small businesses, both in the UK and overseas.

Andrew and Pete, who met in 2008, got involved in a number of activities at university such as running the Lancaster Entrepreneurs Society, and launched their first business Cloud 9 Texts, which sent inspirational messages to students during revision periods.

After graduating in 2011, they moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne to further expand Cloud 9 Texts into other areas, but they struggled to find a web developer able to bring their design ideas to fruition at a price affordable for a start-up. Having several years’ worth of experience in web design, the pair instead started researching software and decided to start offering affordable web and design services to other companies.

“We found the many events and guest speakers that the university put on extremely useful in getting an insight to what running a business was like”, said the pair when interviewed. “Hearing all the inspirational stories was a great motivator into actually setting up ourselves.”

“Setting up your own business is something that can’t really be taught…we both studied modules of Entrepreneurship, but nothing really prepared us for what actually being self-employed is like,” they continued. “The university did all it could, but it’s something you need to experience first hand.”

When asked what advice they would give to students wanting to set up their own business, Andrew and Pete said to start as soon as possible, telling SCAN “We set up little businesses whilst studying and honestly we are so glad we did, as we learnt so much from it.”

“Also, networking is crucial! People do business with people they know, like and trust…not the business. It’s all about relationship building” they added.

Andrew and Pete will be speaking at Lancaster University on Thursday the 18th of October at the Entrepreneur’s Society, where they will talk about how they launched their business and the realities of setting up a business. Students with ideas for their own businesses can also speak to Joe Buglass in the LUSU Involve office in Alexandra Square. Visit the LUSU Involve website for more information; you can also visit Andrew and Pete’s website at

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