Newcastle University student, Sotiris Charlistos, 23, from Cyprus, and his partners in Scotland and the USA started working on the EconomyLoop in August 2015.
Sotiris, a second year Business Accounting and Finance student at Newcastle University Business School said: “I was travelling to Singapore and was searching regional business news online. However, I couldn’t easily find relevant articles and this is when I had the idea that others probably have the same problem.
“My partners and I did more research and whether there was a market about mobile news aggregation focused on the business and finance sector. Our marketing research found there was an opportunity because of few indirect competitors with an online presence but without a mobile app. We knew that there was a market for it and it isn’t a complicated product to develop. My partners and I started working and built the website and app in five months.”
Following a four-month pre-accelerator programme in the USA, the budding entrepreneurs tested the product for several months, before making it available on the App Store and Play Store. EconomyLoop currently syndicates news sources from 20 countries.
Sotiris said: “The feedback was really good. All universities have been really friendly and willing to help, especially Newcastle University.
“Our next target is to reach out to our other part of our audience, which is corporations. To find out whether they like the app and would use it as a training feature, or use it as an additional feature for their customers.”
Sotiris was mentored by Charlie Wainwright, business start-up coach at Rise Up, the Newcastle University Careers Service support programme for student and graduate entrepreneurs.
Charlie said: “We believe Sotiris has hit upon a great product concept with a global application. For business travellers it provides an ideal source of information from the moment you land in a new location.
“We intend to continue to work with him to support him in expanding content and the reach of EconomyLoop. Sotiris is a great example of some of the entrepreneurial talent that we have in the university student community.”
In addition to the mobile app, EconomyLoop is available on the web. Earlier in the year, Sotiris and his partners linked up with Indiana University, USA, which is going to implement the business news platform in several summer classes. The university also plans to use the app as a research tool, starting this summer.
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