Daryll Morrow, a graduate from Robert Gordon University (RGU), has decided to use his skills as an entrepreneur to aid students in manifesting their employability, expanding their skills, and doing it all while still studying for their degree. Entitled Udrafter (The University Draft) is a startup developed by him and the RGU Incubator branch to bring his on-demand, real-time recruitment platform to fruition and make it a place where businesses can post temporary, one-off jobs to be picked up by students within hours - or even mere minutes.
It was during Morrow's studies for a MSc in International Business when the idea for Udrafter was incepted:
“I came up with the idea for Udrafter when I was studying for my masters degree in February 2016. One of the modules we completed was called ‘Launching a New Venture’ and we had to come up with a business idea, create a business plan and then pitch it to the lecturers.
“As a student myself, I had identified certain problems while studying at university. Similar to a lot of students, I had a part-time job and this helped pay for my student lifestyle. However, I wouldn’t get paid until the end of the month, shift patterns were unsociable and difficult to get time off and the work I was doing had nothing to do with my degree. If I ran out of money I was stuck until the end of the month and if I had exams or an event I couldn’t always get the time off and I wasn’t gaining any relevant work experience that would put me in an employable position when I graduated.
“That’s when Udrafter was born – one-off, on demand student jobs with pay on completion terms. Udrafter gives students flexible, paid work experience opportunities on a one-off basis. This could range from a few hours work to a couple of weeks work. Our goal is to provide students with a resource where they can build practical employability skills that complement their degree discipline – something which is highly sought after by leading graduate employers in the UK. Udrafter offers businesses a rapid student recruitment resource with a wide range of different skill sets available within hours, even minutes.”
He continued: “We were lucky enough to gain a place on the Elevator Business Accelerator programme. This was an intense 12 week programme that enabled us to solidify our business model and gain crucial advice from industry experts such as Barclays, KPMG and Burness Paull. This was an invaluable opportunity which enabled us to take an idea and transform it into a viable business venture.”
The company is currently run by Daryll and his brother, Luke - another RDU graduate - and together they have successfully pulled £30,000 for their venture. The capital came from a Scottish Enterprise Grant and Virgin Startup Loan.
“This funding has been incredible and we are just about to begin developing the Udrafter online platform,” Morrow stated. “We are also extremely lucky to be finalists in the Scottish Young EDGE competition where we will be pitching for a chance to win up to £15,000 along with 15 other promising young businesses. Out of 16 businesses, there will be seven winners so we will be working extremely hard up until the final on May 9.
“Over the next six to eight months we are completely focussed on building and tweaking the Udrafter platform so that it is ready for the launch after the summer. Over this time we will be speaking with interested students and local businesses who will be able to gain great value from Udrafter. We are also preparing to raise initial investment in order to recruit further expertise into our team to help achieve our ambitions for national growth.
“The whole process has been extremely tough since leaving university, but to see where we have come in such a short space of time gives me a huge amount of motivation to make the dream become a reality. I didn’t think I would ever find a job that was meant for me, or that I would enjoy for the rest of my life – but I can say with confidence that it doesn’t feel like a job when you love what you do.”
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