Published: 06 May 2021

James Buck, BSc Accounting and Finance on his start up journey with Roome

BSc Accounting and Finance student shares his experience about the start up journey he had with Roome, including support from the Student Enterprise team at Surrey.


After our first year at separate Unis, a friend from home Owen and I met for a coffee in summer to discuss an idea we had been thought of during our first year. Our experiences were aligned in that we thought that students in halls could be better matched to improve their experience at University. With a massive idea and not a clue how to execute it in my second year I sent an email to Surrey Student Enterprise. Not sure what to expect as I was never aware of the amazing entity that it is, I had a meeting with the Student Enterprise Manager, Kat. We had an initial meeting about the idea where I basically just brain dumped everything that was in my head. Talking to a trusted person within the University was the first step to the path that we are now on. Within a week I was attending sessions with Vincenzo (the Entrepreneur in Residence) and a month or two later I was attending a 1-week bootcamp with other likeminded individuals that was tailored to starting and executing a successful business.

Since that week I haven’t looked back! I went on to pitch at various internal competitions for money, support and as much exposure as I could get for the business. It doesn’t stop there, I’m now pitching in national competitions with people from all Universities in the UK, meeting likeminded people and growing not only as a business, but as a person too! I am proud to have recently been selected as the University of Surrey representative in the national Santander Entrepreneurship Awards programme that runs over the next 6 months.

With the support of Surrey Student Enterprise I approached my placement tutor and was the first student to undertake their placement on their own business. Throughout my PTY year I’ve been able to benefit from the experience of the contacts that Surrey Student Enterprise and the University have to offer. I’ve had constant support from mentors in different fields, the Students’ Union, funded interns, lawyers, the accommodation team, societies and many more!

Being in constant contact with people in and around the University over the last year, it has allowed us to build an app that now has over 900 users in its first 2 months of launch and a very successful base on which to build on. I never knew what I wanted to do after I finished University, but that one email I sent in 2019, not knowing what I would get in return, has been one of the best decisions I have ever made!”

Find out more about the project Roome here.

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