Jack Widdows and Sean Curran
Heyday UK is a startup that delivers film courses in schools as a way to increase student participation and reduce exclusions.
A new beginning
After graduating with a film degree from the same university, Jack and Sean founded Heyday UK in 2013. Jack had previously set up a children’s charity but faced issues with funding.
“I set up a children’s charity called GLUE in 2010 but found it difficult to secure funding. So, when the charity was disbanded, I found that the schools still wanted our courses but were prepared to pay for them. So I set up Heyday UK with my friend Sean, who had a background of working in the film industry.”
Lights, camera, action!
With their business idea ready, Jack and Sean came across Bright Ideas Trust after doing research on the Start Up Loans Scheme.
“Initially, we were given support with our business plan, which was something that we really needed help with. Overall, we got money for equipment, as the schools we work with were paying upfront for our course. We were also assigned a mentor who’s been great! All in all, Bright Ideas Trust helped us get on our feet. Starting a company is stressful but we received our loan quickly which meant we could buy equipment straight away!”
Peaks and valleys
Similarly to other young entrepreneurs, Jack and Sean came across various obstacles when setting up their business.
“The biggest challenge was marketing to schools. They’re notoriously difficult to sell to, so we had to rely heavily on word-of-mouth. In hindsight, our biggest mistake was assuming that schools would pay for our services on time. The general rule of thumb seems to be schools pay 6-8 weeks late!”
- Think about your web presence and target it to your customers.
- Know when you will be getting paid – sending an invoice and getting paid isn’t the same thing!
- Focus on the vision, not solely on the money.