CTurtle saving the day for students pursuing their university studies abroad
Published on 1 November 2018
An app aiming to help overseas students in their cultural adjustment for when they go abroad for university. Xiaoxiao, the founder, offers her top tips about starting a venture in Scotland
An app aiming to help overseas students in their cultural adjustment for when they go abroad for university. Xiaoxiao the founder, did her master's at the University of Dundee and after completing it, she decided to stay to work on her startup, CTurtle on an Entrepreneurship Visa.
The reason for this startup was her encountering difficulties in adjusting to a culture other than her own while pursuing her studies in Scotland. She has participated in the Enterprise Challenge in which she received the "New Idea Award" and in the Venture competition in which she won the "Business Student" award.
These are her top tips about starting a venture in Scotland:
Find a real-life problem to solve
Coming to Scotland, the only things I brought along with me were three bottles of soy sauce and a massive duvet. I also got lost at the airport. That made me think "surely I'm not the only one who had to face such problems". So I carried out research among 500 students which showed that they faced problems similar to mine such as difficulty in choosing a university, feeling like an outsider as well as struggling to integrate into the local life and learning community. I wanted to make a difference in Chinese students’ lives by making their acclimatisation in a foreign country easier and less stressful, which is why I started developing CTurtle.
Be passionate about what you do
The journey for an entrepreneur is not easy. From the first time I started working on my app, CTurtle has changed its name, logo, service project and landing platform. The only thing that hasn’t changed is my passion for wanting to help international students solve the problems mentioned.
Don't let rejection discourage you
Throughout this journey I have also participated in various competitions to acquire funding, which meant that I had to deal with rejection and failure on multiple occasions. Even though it was tough dealing with it at first I can say that I’ve been benefited from dealing with rejection. At the end of the day, failure taught me what to look out for in future encounters including competitions.
Don't be scared to go above and beyond
Do not hesitate to go above and beyond to gather all the information and resources that you need. I combined initial market research and three stages of interviews and questionnaire dissemination among university staff and students to obtain a clear understanding of the problem at hand and how to solve it.
Define your market in as much detail as possible
From the university’s point of view, it is difficult to provide the appropriate training to staff so that they can deal with the increasing numbers of foreign students. At the same time, what students (and their parents) require is information that is publicly accessible to provide awareness of issues that they should know about before coming to the UK for studies. CTurtle, addresses both segments by providing that information while it also aims to provide training to university staff.
CTurtle is expected to launch in February of 2019 as a mini-app on WeChat.