Giving young entrepreneurs the perfect start

UHatch, GCU’s incubator space, supports entrepreneurial students, alumni and staff in developing their business skills and launching their own enterprises.

Isatou Njai and her partner Paul Blackler set up Hippo & Hedgehog with UHatch support to produce Baotic, a breakfast drink made from the African superfruit baobab, while she was studying International Business (Risk Management).

They source baobab through a charity supply chain that benefits community harvesters across Africa and commit a minimum of 10% profit to support development across the continent.

The start-up triumphed against more than 2,000 entries from universities across the UK and Ireland to take the runner-up spot in the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards and won £5,000 and the opportunity to meet Sir Richard Branson after winning a Virgin Media business event.

They impressed the contest’s judges with their pitch during the Virgin Media Voom Tour, adding that prize to Scottish Edge Wildcard funding of up to £10,000 won earlier in the year.