Being your own boss in a start-up is what entrepreneurship is all about, enjoying the rewards as well as managing the potential risks.
While there is an official International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) Bachelor of Business (Entrepreneurship) degree, students and graduates of all disciplines are getting involved and enjoying the process of launching their own businesses or start-up.
From rolled ice cream to desk organisers, pet care products to eco-friendly cups you can plant in the sand at a beach picnic, ICMS students are showing the skies the limit when it comes to combining great ideas with hard work and savvy entrepreneurial skills.
A selection of start-ups currently in operation by ICMS students and alumni include:
The address of the main ICMS Campus – the ‘castle on the hill’ – is 151 Darley Road, the inspiration for Leigh’s rolled ice cream venture.
“Darley Rd Creamery is a niche hospitality start-up using innovative technology to create entertaining food experiences, starting with rolled Ice Cream. Rolled Ice Cream has proven to be a popular street dessert overseas so Darley Rd Creamery was founded to bring exciting dairy and dessert products to Sydney.” said New Zealand student, Will Leigh.
“There’s been plenty of ups and downs on the way. A couple things come to mind – sourcing the ice cream machine, and the food safety and compliance process too – but the trickiest would be managing cash flow. Fortunately I love numbers and problem solving, so it’s a challenge that really excites me. Still, I find myself looking back over the Funding and Financial Modelling class I took to find ways to be leaner as a business, and exploring options for accessing more capital and generating prepaid revenue.”
“So far the highlight of Darley Rd Creamery has been rolling the first ice cream. There was plenty of planning and a couple months of waiting whilst the machine was built and shipped from overseas, so to finally create something we could sell was super exciting.”
Will is grateful for the support of his fellow residential students who often pop along to help out and, of course, to help themselves to his ice cream.
To any students inspired to launch their own start-up, whether studying entrepreneurship or not, Leigh has this advice: “Back yourselves when you start your own business. You’ll most likely be able to cross each bridge when you get to it, but if you can’t, you’ll learn a hell of a lot in the process.”
“We started MyBrighterHome in 2020 during the Covid-19 lockdown. Like everyone else, we had a lot of free time, and we wanted to make sure we came out of the pandemic having achieved something. But we wanted to create something that also gave back, and that’s why we decided to partner with the non-profit organisation One Tree Planted and committed to plant a tree for every purchase of our products. Our products are built with sustainability in mind, so they’re made using 100% high-quality bamboo and no plastic,” said Enzo
“You always see people coming up with great ideas and businesses, and I always thought to myself ‘I wish I had done that’ or ‘one day’, without actually doing anything about it. So we figured it was time to stop just talking about it and actually just start! And starting the business with someone else was also great because we can support each other through the ups and downs and also bounce more ideas off each other.”
“A highlight for me was definitely when we received our first completed product. To see your own logo on the packaging, and then open it up and see the culmination of all your hard work into something you’re really proud of, that was a great feeling. Also when our first sale went through, that was very nice.
Enzo’s advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs: “If you’re thinking of starting a business, just start – because there is no perfect time. You’ll always have other distractions or reasons not to. Also be aware that you will make mistakes along the way, some may cost you money, some may not, but as long as you learn from them you’re in a better position than when you started.”
“I was looking for months, even years, for a business I could excel in and start by myself and without a large capital. I stumbled upon e-commerce and found a product and gap in the market that truly could be both a useful and attractive product to a customer,” said Emily.
“My biggest highlight so far is how much I’ve learnt. It takes a very long time to learn half the things you need to succeed online, and heaps of trial and error. I had two stores that flopped prior to this one!”
“The hardest thing to overcome is running a business by yourself. You have to learn everything from tech and how to add your logo as a favicon (the logo in the url/tab) to negotiating with manufacturers and logistics.”
“My biggest advice is to start looking at business models, and ideas while still studying your bachelors degree or your masters degree. That’s when you’ve got the time to figure out what you want your business to be and then take the time/money you’ll have when you graduate to execute your plan. It’s never too early or too late as long as you’re passionate about it and stay consistent everything is possible!”
“BeachStakez currently sells cup holders that go into the sand and will have a range of other beach products in the future! I had the idea for these types of beach products when I was having a picnic on the sand and struggling to balance everything as well as keeping the sand out. I created a TikTok with a prototype of my idea which ended up getting a total of 2.5 million views. This made me realise the potential the product had. I started BeachStakez with a small cup version of my original idea as the market entry was easier and I would be able to build brand awareness while designing my new unique product,” said Danielle.
“I’ve always wanted to be my own boss and growing up I loved being creative with whacky ideas of products to solve small problems. After studying business at ICMS, I had lots of practice with innovating and developing my entrepreneurial skills, so I felt confident in starting a small business like I had always wanted.”
“The best thing that has happened so far is finding another company in Sydney who I am now working with to produce a new design of my product. This company collects plastic from Sydney and surrounding areas and recycles it to make new products. I am so excited about this step I am taking and making a sustainable choice for our beautiful environment with these new products being made from 100% recycled plastic. Keep your eyes open for these to be released early 2022!”
*The ICMS Bachelor of Business (Entrepreneurship) is designed to position students for success in start-ups in any industry, with subjects such as Entrepreneurial Business Model & Launch (ENT202A), Guerrilla Marketing (ENT203A) and Innovative Disruption (BUS306A) all part of the bouquet of subjects up for selection.