Two young entrepreneurs behind a Bath start-up company are graduating with first class honours degrees in this week’s ceremonies from the University of Bath.
Nick Jones and Tom Robertshaw, both students from the University’s Department of Computer Science, developed their company ‘Meanbee’ alongside their studies and are now looking forward to working full-time to grow their business.
Meanbee specialises in developing e-commerce websites using leading open-source software. Nick, now 22, started working on Meanbee when he was just 16 years old.
Nick said: “I have always had an entrepreneurial streak and my parents encouraged me by incorporating Meanbee for my 18th birthday. Since then I have worked part-time on building the company while studying computer science to gain the technical skills I would need to offer high-end software development.”
Nick met Tom on his course and University, and having developed a friendship the pair decided to go into business together.
The partnership got off to an excellent start with both students being rewarded with placements at Bath internet services company Netcraft for being among the top ten achievers in their first year of study.
Tom said: “The placement at Netcraft gave me an insight to how a business operates, which has proven invaluable. The placement also taught me a great deal about internet security which is essential knowledge when building e-commerce software.”
Professor Phil Willis, Head of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bath, said: “Around 85 percent of our students do a placement year, giving them the skills they need to succeed in the industry.
“Students like Tom and Nick are adventurous enough to start their own company, which they have done while completing their first-class honours degrees here.
“It’s the all-win combination of an excellent placement degree and excellent prospects that brings such capable students to Bath, and we wish both Tom and Nick all the best in their new venture.”
Meanbee have just moved into offices in the city centre, and are now looking to recruit additional employees to allow Tom more time to put into developing the company.
Tom said: “Taking on staff can be a daunting move but we recognise that in order for me to be able to put time into developing Meanbee and our networks in the city, we need to take that step.
“We are really excited about the amount of talent in the area. One of the main reasons we chose to stay in Bath was the excellent web and design community that has grown in the area and is attracting very talented people.
“Our first recruit is actually one of our peers from the computer sciences course at the University of Bath, and we are also looking at running a placement scheme for a design student from Bath Spa University.
“We are keen to keep as much good talent in the city as possible, so it’s great that we can offer good candidates an opportunity to begin their career with Meanbee.”
Nick and Tom will graduate with first class degrees at the ceremony at Bath Abbey on Wednesday 6 July.
Nick said: “We are both absolutely thrilled with our degree results. We worked really hard and this is a great end to our time in University.”
The graduation award ceremonies, presided over by the University’s Chancellor, Lord Tugendhat, will all be preceded by a public procession of some of the University’s senior officers and academics.
The first ceremony at 10am on Tuesday will also be attended by the Mayor of Bath, Bryan Chalker, and the Chairman of Bath & North East Somerset Council, Cllr Peter Edwards.
The processions will begin at the Guildhall, go into the High Street, turn right into Cheap Street, and left down Farrs Passage into the Abbey Churchyard. They will return after the ceremonies past Rebecca’s Fountain and into the High Street.
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