Enterprise success stories

Ed Latham and Alex Nechoroskovas

iMended was set up by year third business student’s Ed Latham and Alex Nechoroskovas after Alex accidentally broke his iPhone prompting him to realise that there was a gap in the student market for iPhone repairs. Within the first week that the business started the pair managed to repair over 20 iPhones on campus – seeing the market before them they began to look to expand to other university campuses and are currently undergoing a franchise model rollout with the assistance and support of the Innovation Centre and the Students’ Guild.

This support helped iMended to apply successfully for a Student Start Up Award from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF). The award provided them with funds to professionally develop their website and trade mark their brand.

Before securing the funds, the Ignite programme helped iMended test the concept of the business.

Supported by Deputy Chief Executive Tracy Costello, the Guild provided space to set up a shop on campus and free advertising in the form of posters and a mention in the Guild President’s newsletter, which helped significantly boost hits on the website and led to increased inquiries.

Co-Founder Edward Latham felt the entrepreneurial support was vital to growth.

He said: “The support and funding moved us from a couple of students playing at business to running a serious company. It helped change us from the number three iPhone repair company in Exeter to the number one.

“It allowed us to consider expanding, which wasn’t an option before we had the finance and support.”

In addition to acting as iMended’s registered office, Exeter Innovation Centre provided space and support to enable the growth and development of the business.

Edward and co-founder Alex Nechoroskovas worked closely with Joe Pearce, the Innovation Centre Business Support Manager to refine their business model and consider how best to grow the business.

iMended also trained their first technician to carry out iPhone repairs using a room the Innovation Centre was able to provide.

Edward feels this gave a good impression of iMended: “The person we were training came down and met two enthusiastic young guys in an impressive, large office building.

“It enabled us to behave as a proper business.”

iMended is currently expanding, with contracted technicians working in Exeter, Earl’s Court and Bristol.