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Entrepreneur in Residence

8 January 2015

Neil Cottrell

Cardiff Psychology graduate and entrepreneur, Neil Cottrell is taking on a new role at the University that aims to help students and graduates grow their own business ideas.

As an Entrepreneur in Residence, Neil will provide mentoring and guidance to budding entrepreneurs to help them start their journey to developing their own successful venture.

In 2009, Neil founded his own company, Lexable Ltd, which grew out of his own frustrations with the software available to support dyslexic students. He started to develop his main product 'Global Autocorrect' while still a student and founded Lexable to develop and distribute this on graduation.

Based in Cardiff Business Technology Centre, Lexable has grown steadily over the past few years and Neil has had an ongoing relationship with the University sharing his experiences in founding and growing his own business with students both within and outside the curriculum.

Neil said: "I met my mentor a while after I initially set up my business. I was doing all the things that you need to do as a start-up: product development, sales, marketing, customer support, admin, etc.  I wanted to make the company successful, and I was willing to work really hard to make that happen.  But other than selling lots of my product, helping people and maybe getting rich at the same time, I didn't have a clear idea of what I wanted to get out of the business.

"Very early on, my mentor taught me to look at my business differently.  He made me realise that I was building something myself, and that meant that I had the freedom to decide what I wanted it to become, and what I wanted to get out of it in the medium and long term.  My mentor also helped me a great deal when I had difficult decisions I needed to talk through. 

"Now, in my capacity as Entrepreneur in Residence at Cardiff University, I'm looking forward to getting more involved with individuals with links to the University, who are at the start of their entrepreneurial journey.  I hope that I can go some way to providing individual students and graduates with the support that I have benefited so much from over the last five years."

Dr Catherine Bushell, Enterprise Manager, Careers and Employability said: "Students and graduates will benefit enormously from Neil's entrepreneurial expertise and first-hand experience of setting up a company. We look forward to working with Neil over the coming months and hope that this new project will encourage and support innovation among the Cardiff student community."

The Entrepreneur in Residence scheme at Cardiff University is part of a HEFCW funded Innovation and Engagement Project.