Welcome to the Alumni Newsletter
The blossom trees seem to have flowered then shed their blooms all to quickly, but it's good to see warmer weather is upon us. The spring continues to find Mountbatten Institute alumni taking on new challenges, pursuing projects and starting their own companies. In this issue, we feature 2 more alumni who have set up their own businesses; philanthropy updates; a progress check-in with a new business alum from a previous newsletter; as well as a spotlight on New York Cares Day which involved all sorts of volunteer activities to help clear up a park in the Bronx that had been badly damaged by Hurrican Sandy.
We have our regular sections such as Alum of the Month, and Jobs, which features Hatstand, a company that is currently advertising 3 positions on our website.
Please feel free to write in with your news and career updates, and anything else you think may be of interest to fellow alumni.
Please also get in contact with us regarding any other features you would like to read in future issues of the newsletter.
Alum of the Month
Daniel ChenAugust 2009 - London
"Mountbatten goes far and beyond to create networking events and therefore offers plenty of value building opportunities." Read full story.
This month we are happy to share the entrepreneurial talents of two more of our illustrious alumni who have both only recently set up their businesses. (One, unbelievably combined it with becoming a mother in January this year!)
In November 2012, Jack Pass (March 2011 - New York) decided to leave his job in London and start his own business. He explains, "I've always wanted to work in the food industry so I set up Ibérico Jack: an online Spanish delicatessen. It took me three months to get things off the ground, before I hired a small Citroen van, mapped out a route from Warwick to Spain and went in search of Spanish suppliers. Two weeks later, and a van full to the brim of chorizo, manchego cheese, turrón, ibérico ham, morcilla (black pudding) and several other tasty goods, I began to establish a retail and wholesale customer base".
Living in New York on the Mountbatten programme, I took inspiration from foodie entrepreneurs such as Danny Meyer (Shake Shack), Doug Quint (Big Gay Ice Cream) and Michael Chernow (Meatball Shop). Anywhere you went in NYC, you'd find a gourmet food truck. I started jotting ideas down and sketching designs for my own food truck, only to later find out that I'd need around £25,000 GBP to make it work. When I got back to London, I started brainstorming other ideas. For a few months I started working on a project called Eat&Mess, selling ice cream that resembled flavours of cakes and puddings. However, once again start-up costs were too high.
Many ideas later, I started putting plans in place for Ibérico Jack. I had already met with a few wholesale clients in the Warwickshire area who were interested in Spanish produce, and hallelujah, things are beginning to take off. Although my castle in Spain still looks a few weeks off."
Get in touch with Jack: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 (0)7703 859 267 Twitter: @ibericojack
Rebecca Taylor (March 2010 - New York) founded Patoo, a reusable cloth diaper company, shortly after becoming a mother in January of this year. Rebecca was inspired to start her own business after her father passed away in late December 2012. He successfully ran his own IT Consultancy company from home and regularly took her with him to meetings, she went to the London Stock Exchange with him when she was 2 years old. He nurtured the entrepreneurial spirit in her and always encouraged her to take calculated risks. Participating in the Mountbatten Institute impacted her life tremendously. She applied for the programme three times. After being rejected twice she was accepted after travelling to Mumbai for her interview with then Executive Director Michael Billett, whom she regularly meets with in New York as he is now her Business Mentor. Mountbatten enabled her to connect with a variety of brilliant minds, taught her the pros and cons of Investment Banking and most importantly, let her to meet her fiancee Omar.
The eco-friendly alternative to disposables come in a variety of gorgeous prints and colours including Zebra, Giraffe and Leopard. Each diaper is brilliantly designed to fit a baby from newborn to 35lb using a multiple sizing snap feature saving parents money as the child grows. This has a big impact on the environment particularly as disposable diapers count for the third largest single consumer item in landfill sites. It takes 400 years for them to biodegrade and the average baby needs 8760 diaper changes before they are potty trained!
This new enterprise is currently targeting the New York and London market, where she regularly attends environmental fairs, baby trade shows and builds a network of 'Mum Friends' whilst nurturing a 15 week old baby. She is hoping to have a stand at the Baby Show in Earls Court, London in October.
The Patoo website is coming soon. In the meantime follow and like to find out more about Patoo.
We wish them both every success in their respective ventures, and hope to catch up with them in a later newsletter.
Volunteering in the Big Apple
On 20th April, a group of 20 Mountbattens volunteered for New York Cares Day. They were based at Soundview Park in the Bronx where they helped with gardening and painting fences as well as cleaning out a wood which had been damaged by hurricane Sandy. They all worked together to remove fallen trees and branches to make the park safe again. Full details & photos.
Robert Martin (August 2012 - New York) and his friend, Catherine Krebs participated on 5th May in the TD Bank 5 Boro Bike Tour as a member of (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) ASPCA Team. They raised over $2,000 USD. The ASPCA provides local and national leadership in caring for pets parents, providing positive outcomes for at risk animals and serving victims of animal cruelty. Congratulations for the achievement!
To find out more about other volunteer opportunities in New York, please contact Fr Joseph Cyman, Coordinator of Volunteer Activities.
Back in March 13 newsletter, Evan Spano, Amanda Adamcheck and Lauren Chan (August 2009 - London) with Nicole Maisonville, Amanda Ray and Christina Chang (August 2011 - London) told us about their philanthropy and charity project for a non-profit organization called the Women's Refugee Commission (WRC), which they had started. Evan wrote to us recently with this update:
"The fundraising went incredibly well. We were able to fully fund and raised $4,045 USD for the campaign and the WRC organization. We are in the process of selecting a video journalist and have several acceptable candidates, which we are in the process of vetting. The happy hour fundraiser went especially well and surprised us greatly. We raised about $1,000 USD on the night alone, and in the 48 hour period around the event almost 40% of total funds. We are moving forward by gathering as many acceptable candidates as possible and presenting them to the WRC for their final approval." We will follow the project and keep you posted about its progress.
Alumni Business Update
Chris Holman (August 2007 - London) was featured in November 13 newsletter when he shared with us his venture Londonhood. He recently gave us this update:
"The article was actually very beneficial for spreading the word about Londonhood and we sold a fair amount of products to Mountbatten Alumni, the furthest away from London being in Alaska. The Mountbatten Alumni are a great market for us as our products are extremely popular with people who have previously lived in London or are living here for a short amount of time. People can easily relate to the bus blinds as they symbolise their favourite locations around this great city. We have been busy around London and have found that through social networking sites we have really been able to reach our market. Our Facebook and Twitter pages have been a great way to interact with our fans and promote Londonhood." Chris is currently providing Mountbatten Alumni with a 20% discount on all products, for their continued support, by using the code: mylondonhood.
Thank you for the updates and we always look forward to seeing how things develop.
Hatstand is a global financial IT consultancy with a focus on trading systems, connectivity, data management and the impact of regulatory change. They work with clients in international financial centres in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. The business is growing on a globacl scale; with offices in New York, London and Hong Kong. As a result of this growth there are a number of employment opportunities.
Hatstand are currently recruiting for an I.T. Recruiter for their Manhattan office, plus, an I.T. Project Manager for a Dallas, TX based client, and, a Java Developer for a leading investment bank in New York. For full details of these posts, please go to the alumni website.
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