Mobile app creator Jacob wins prestigious university prize


Chester University undergraduate, Jacob Trainer, has won the Forresters Award, at the university’s recent The Venture Pitch 2020 event. Jacob was thrilled to be presented with the prestigious prize for his app, which aims to support students who are going through a difficult time at university.

The Venture Pitch 2020 saw students and graduates present their business ideas to a panel of judges, who decide which ones receive start-up funding and one of the coveted awards. This year the event was held virtually, due to government restrictions surrounding Covid-19. Our team of attorneys in Liverpool ensured Jacob’s prize, of an engraved iPad Pro, was sent to him at his home in Warrington.

Jacob started creating the My Uni Life app after seeing how the recent lockdown affected students in a number of ways. “Before Covid-19 I focussed on creating an app to help students with healthy eating,” explained Jacob, who is studying law at the university. “However, the lockdown showed me that students have more problems than just food, with debt, housing, health and financial issues being top of the list. My Uni Life would be a social enterprise business, run by students who would share their experiences and pass on advice”.

Jacob shared he’s experienced his own difficulties, having left school as a teenager he decided to return to education when he was 21-years-old. He completed an Access Higher Education course, alongside resitting his GCSE’s, and then enrolled at university.

“My first job was in debt management and so I have seen how stressful life is when people are struggling with money”, said Jacob, aged 26. “A lot of students are worried about their finances at the moment, due to the lack of work in areas such as hospitality, retail and leisure where they often find their jobs. Also, peer pressure can push students into situations where their overall health and wellbeing is affected – we want to be there for them, with a lifestyle app that gives them the advice and support they need”.

Jacob added that he was thrilled to win the Forresters Award. “Winning the award was just what I needed to give the business a boost”, he said. “I will be speaking with lots of people about funding for the app, so the iPad Pro will help give me the flexibility and professional edge needed, especially with the current climate”.

Partner Ross Walker, based in our Liverpool office said: “The Venture Programme is an excellent way for the University of Chester to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit of its students. Each year we are astounded with the high quality of projects presented by students, and they have shown that even when times are tough that entrepreneurial spirit will not be quashed. Jacob’s project was really interesting because he altered his business plans when he saw the effect Covid-19 had on those around him. We believe his app could become a real lifeline to a lot of students and we wish him every success for the future”.

Kirsty Badrock, entrepreneurship co-ordinator at the University of Chester, said: “Forresters has supported the Venture Programme at the University of Chester for a number of years, helping to prepare aspiring student entrepreneurs to launch their business and to introduce important considerations such as trade marks. We value our partnership and we are tremendously grateful that Forresters has sponsored a business at this year’s Venture Pitch 2020, for the second year running. The prize awarded will be of great value to Jacob and we wish him all the best with his entrepreneurial endeavours”.