‘Am I there yet?’ A question that has been asked by many, however, few have the answer. Claire Rampen’s live talk shed light on ‘what it’s like to start a business with big ambitions, and what you learn along the way’. Claire has always held entrepreneurial spirit throughout her years at St Andrews. Bringing various initiatives to the university in hopes to make our community a greener place. For example, the reusable cups we now use to get coffee from the library cafe is all thanks to Claire’s hard work. As she saw an unsustainable problem, and through research found a sustainable solution. Claire Rampen and Emily Rogers, both graduates of the University of St Andrews, co-founded Reath in 2019. Claire’s conscious green thinking has transcended into her work and the creation of their company. Reath is ‘a circular economy software start-up that is tackling the challenge of single-use packaging and systems.’
In her talk, Claire outlines the many useful tips she has gained along the way in her entrepreneurial journey. The most important point she brought up during her talk was the absolute need for networking. Networking is often a daunting task to be done and not one that is taught at university. Once students step out into the real world these connections will soon become our support network of people who you could rely on. The most useful advice she has received from her support group was to connect to those already in your business’s field of interest. Further demonstrating the importance of networking and how useful it can be for those who are interested in starting a business.
She also draws on many other important aspects that those on their entrepreneurial journey must take into account. First off, she emphasizes the need in researching every crevice of your desired field before making a business plan. This would include market research as well as clarifying your own personal interests for your future business. The need for clarity throughout your journey will aid you not only to take the leap, but also to know if now is the right time to start a business. Another important aspect that was highlighted during her talk was the need to be confident enough to step outside of your comfort zone. Being able to hold this skill allows anyone to start a business, even those who are shy introverts.
These are only brief highlights of the many aspects of start-up creation that Claire spoke of. I chose to focus on these, because if you can check these boxes, then the other logistical aspects will come. That be it, getting funding or even making the right partnerships. When asked to answer the question: ‘Am I there yet?’ Claire replied, “you are never there yet.” These words stuck with me, as she reminded the audience that the importance is in the journey rather than the finish line. Encouraging anyone to start their journey and continue on their path to achieving their goals and dreams.