Joe Pearce

“Think, Try, Do” is an award-winning student start-up initiative.

Creating an impact regionally, nationally and globally

Joe Pearce, Business Support Manager, Innovation, Impact and Business

According to the Complete University Guide, six in ten students cite employment prospects as their main reason for attending university.  With a challenging jobs market and the cost of study meaning that students are expecting a greater long-term return for their money, we know that embedding employability into the fabric of the student journey at Exeter is essential.

Joe Pearce is part of the “Think, Try, Do” student start-up team, which provides students with an award-winning programme of workshops, competitions, one-to-one support and funding to help develop the employability and commercial awareness of participants, by helping them to start their own business.  The scheme helps develop fundamental skills, taking students on the entire journey, from the initial spark all the way to launching a successful business. 

Joe’s particular area of focus is in the “Do” stage of the programme, which is a role that sees him work with students whose business ideas have the potential for growth. 

The real impact from the programme is delivered by the students who can translate the skills developed in starting their own business into other organisations, often joining Startup businesses and early stage businesses where their skills can add huge value.

“Since 2011 we have supported 45 student-led Startups, with grant awards totalling over £130,000. The companies which continue to trade with us, have secured over £350,000 investment and have a combined turnover of more than £2.5 million”, Joe said.

Through collaboration with colleagues across the University, Students’ Guild, student societies, and with businesses and entrepreneurs in the Innovation Centre and Exeter Science Park, students are offered a comprehensive programme of support, enhancing their enterprise skills.  This in turns enables our graduates to make a lasting impact regionally, nationally and where possible globally when they leave Exeter and embark upon their chosen career paths.