Adam O’Sullivan

Adam joined Orbit’s Accelerator Programme in December 2018, and has established “Smoove”, which produces healthy smoothies delivered to office buildings. Adam, who is from Walworth Academy in the south London, is participating in the Entrepreneur Programme and is seeking support to grow his business.

Tell us more about yourself.

My name is Adam, and I come from South London. I have many interests which include basketball, football, and boxing, all of which hold a special place in my heart.

I am in the entrepreneur programme and I’ve always had an aspiration to be my own boss. My business is called Smoove, which aims to help consumers adopt a healthy diet.  I’ve seen the growth in the food and drinks industry and have decided to enter the market. My business will specialise in drinks for now such as smoothies and fruit punch however down the line I look to venture into the “health foods” segment of the market.

At Smoove, we specialise on delivering healthy drinks straight to your office. I am also looking to sell within my own community and promote the business through word of mouth and social media.

I am an avid reader and movie goer, and I enjoy biographies and anything that stimulates my imagination. I have a strong moral compass and I have a set of values that are very important to me. These include loyalty, respect, honour, and most importantly, perseverance, as I believe these are the traits that will get me to where I need to be. 

I can’t talk about myself without thanking my family, who give me the drive, motivation, and encouragement to succeed.

How can the business community support you?

I’m looking to get in touch with office workers around London that would be interested in having Smoove Smothies delivered to their office.

Local businesses can sponsor me to participate on Orbits Programme by clicking here.

Email Address: adamosullivan23@gmail.com

Cerys Pollock

Cerys Rose Pollock.

Edinburgh Accelerator Programme.

Cerys joined Orbit’s Accelerator Programme in January 2019, and is looking to build a business that produces video game consoles with Orbit’s support. Cerys, who is from Bo’ness Academy (outside Edinburgh), is participating in the Entrepreneur Programme and is seeking support to bring her video games business to reality.

Tell us more about yourself.

I really enjoy the world of film, I think it’s amazing the whole “lights. Camera. Action.” Magic is incredible. I also enjoy music as long as it’s being played on a record player.

I don’t really know where I’m from originally as my mum and I moved around a lot when she was a police officer in the Royal Airforce, for the time being we will just say I’m originally from St Andrews. I moved through to Glasgow when I was 6 to help support my grandparents, I stayed there until I was 13 then moved to Boness to help support my uncle after his wife passed…(I know depressing but don’t worry he’s okay and so is the rest of the family.)

During my time on Orbit’s Accelerator Programme, I would really like to sell products from my business across the globe. I have a passion for video games and I have identified a gap in the market that I’m ready to exploit. I have designed the games consoles by myself, and the products will allow gamers to escape from the trappings and limitations of consoles currently on the market.

How can the business community support you?

If the business community could give me any fresh ideas I’d greatly appreciate it. I’d really appreciate support with securing investment, and access to key personnel working in the UK’s gaming industry.

I’ve already secured my sponsors, but you can sponsor another Orbiteer to participate on Orbits Programme by clicking here.

Email Address: ceryspollock@icloud.com

Orbit: “A teacher’s perspective”

Orbit has worked with over 130 schools from Glasgow to London. We caught up with a few teachers to hear their feedback, and what they would say to other teachers thinking about joining.

A career in teaching can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling professions that one undertakes. However, with increased workloads and slashed budgets, teachers are finding it difficult to offer extracurricular programmes to help their students enter positive destinations. Surely, there must be a solution?

Sadly, we’re hearing the same issues being raised by the teachers we work with across the UK. Workloads are heavy, budgets are strained, bright ideas get caught in bureaucracy, and students miss out on fantastic opportunities as a result. Does this sound familiar?

These problems are relatively easy to solve. Training providers that offer enrichment, training, work experience, and extra-curricular activities should factor the teacher’s experience into their proposition. It shouldn’t take a teacher 3 hours to administrate a programme, have it approved by the senior leadership team, make timetable changes, arrange assemblies, book transport arrangements, and then pay an invoice at the end. 

One of the big problems with extra curricular programmes is the risk of students dropping out. Schools that pay for programmes are losing money when a student leaves a programme before it’s completion, and training providers should ensure that they retain the interest of the students they work with.

Finally, the programmes offered by extra-curricular providers should really work, and really make a massive difference to the students involved. The careers programmes offered in school should be energetic, enriching, captivating, and of course, “instagramable“.

We believe that it is easy to achieve all of the above. Orbit believes in creating “best in class” programmes, that are easy to administrate, and that genuinely change lives.

  • Cameron (pictured) secured a job in the Government’s Asset Management department just three months into working with Orbit. Mr Latimer, from Bo’ness Academy, was “amazed by how much Cameron’s confidence has grown in such a short space of time”.
  • Glasgow Orbiteers got the chance to meet one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs, Billionaire Jim McColl OBE. One Orbiteer said that meeting Mr McColl was “one of the most significant experiences” they’ve had.

What is Orbit’s Accelerator Programme?

Orbit is the UK’s only accelerator programme for 16-19 year old Orbiteers. We support school students to launch real businesses (self-employed) and secure real jobs in the industries of tomorrow.

Each school can send up to 15 students to the programme. Over a twelve-month period, we’ll provide exclusive workshops, one-to-one mentoring, access to our online training content, and access to the UK’s leading business and political figures. With this support, we’re supporting seventeen year old students to build six-figure businesses before their 18th birthday, and secure jobs in emerging fields (Artificial Intelligence, Digital Marketing, etc).

Every Orbiteer we work with will keep all the money they earn from their businesses/jobs, whilst developing the CV, networks, mindset, and skills that are essential for success. Each Orbiteer is guaranteed to leave the programme with a positive destination and a clear plan of their future.

We receive thousands of applications for spaces on the programme, and we welcome new Orbiteers to the programme every month. Orbit is a rolling programme, which means the content repeats itself every 12-months. This means that regardless of when an Orbiteer joins the programme, they’ll always get through all of the content.

Finally, all the sessions take place after school is finished. Orbiteers from schools across each city we operate in travel into the city centre for our monthly training sessions for one evening per month. We’ll send you monthly updates on their progress, and you’ll notice the massive improvements in their employment prospects.

  • Billionaire entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter shares his life story with Orbiteers in 2016.
  • Ciara works with a team of Orbiteers from five schools to brainstorm solutions to a business problem.

What role does the school play in the programme?

Schools act as recruitment arms for our accelerator. Teachers can sign up to Orbit with just two clicks of the mouse, and we’ll do all the administration work. You can opt to have one of our team visit the school and deliver a 20-minute talk to an assembly, you can show our promotional video at an assembly, or you can simply nominate the students you’d like us to work with. We’ll also provide posters, booklets, and other materials for the students in the school.

When we have the students, we’ll begin sending you monthly updates on their progress and development. There’s no need to arrange transport, rearrange timetables, or spend hours processing administration work. It’s super simple.

So….eh…. how much does it cost? :-/

Orbit won’t cost you a penny. The Accelerator Programme is free. 

Orbit is a Social Enterprise, and we don’t take donations (or taxpayer’s money) for our work. We have businesses sponsor your students to participate in the programme, and in return, we give the businesses a package of exclusive benefits.

It costs Orbit £1000 to put an Orbiteer through the programme for 12-months. Each Orbiteer is given training to secure two sponsors for their space on the programme.  The sponsorship is paid by local businesses, and each business commits to paying £13.99 per month, over 36-months, in sponsorship contributions.

In return, we give the business owners unlimited access to our Life Story events, where they meet and learn from billionaire entrepreneurs and leading politicians. Normally, these events cost £140+ per ticket, however by sponsoring an Orbiteer, the business get access to as many life story events as they like for just £13.99 per month.

Most Orbiteers are fully sponsored within two weeks of joining the programme. Securing sponsors is a really easy process, and our team support them every step of the way. We don’t want sponsorship to become a barrier to participating, therefore we offer comprehensive support to help the Orbiteers secure their sponsors. 

  • Orbiteers can win prizes including “dinner with a billionaire” at our monthly award shows.
  • Orbiteers receive monthly mentoring sessions from business experts.

What do teachers say?

We’ve worked with hundreds of teachers across the UK, and we strive to make their lives easier when participating in Orbit’s accelerator programme.

Mr Latimer, from Bo’ness Academy, began working with Orbit in 2018. With the consent of headteacher Mr Dougan, the school nominated five students to join the Accelerator Programme. One of the Orbiteers from Bo’ness Academy, Cameron, secured a job with the Government’s asset management department within three months of joining the programme.

Mr Latimer said “I know Cameron has really enjoyed the work he has done with @orbitincubator and it has been great to see his confidence grow so much in such a short space of time.” 

Mrs Neil, from Greenfaulds High School, said that she “wouldn’t think twice” about recommending the programme to other schools. She highlighted that “all the students that participated enjoyed a very positive experience. Even if they didn’t want to launch a business, the skills and experience gained will last a lifetime”.

Mrs Mortimer, from Williamwood High School worked with Orbit in 2016. Students from the school launched clothing businesses, video production agencies, and even a surround sound speaker system. She said “after signing up, the administration was handled by Orbit’s team, and we enjoyed monthly progress reports on our Orbiteers.”

Mrs Methven from Saint Benedict’s High School (one of the first schools we worked with) said that the programme will create “positive and lasting change” with the students, and that “getting to meet Sir Tom Hunter made an impression on the students.” Bailey, one of our first Orbiteers, still has his business running four years after leaving the programme.

  • Our Manchester Gaff is based in Beetham Tower. We are perfectionists and love choosing the best locations to run our programmes from.
  • We like making things simple. Getting started with Orbit takes just two clicks.

How do I get involved?

Get started today with just two clicks. After you apply to Orbit, you’ll receive an automated email where you can book a short ten minute induction call with our team. You’ll then have the option of booking one of our team to speak at an assembly, or you can nominate students to join the programme.

Local entrepreneur, Andrew Morrison, is giving back to supercharge tomorrow’s workforce.

Andrew Morrison, the founder of AM Bid, is mentoring school students to launch businesses and secure jobs.

One of Edinburgh’s most talented entrepreneurs, Andrew Morrison, is committed to helping today’s youth develop the skills they need to succeed in tomorrow’s workplace.

Andrew, from North Berwick, started AM Bid after working as a bid manager for some of the UK’s largest firms. Using his experience and networks within the sector, Andrew started AM Bid in 2014 which provides specialist tendering and bidding services for firms to secure local, regional and national government contracts. The firm boasts an 80% success rate, and specialises in creating successful bids for companies operating within 20 sectors.

Remarkably, the company has grown to employ ten staff members, and generate a seven figure turnover without using debt financing. With 90% of new businesses failing within the first five years, AM Bid has survived and thrived during the fragile start-up stage of a business’s journey.

In 2018, Andrew met with Orbit’s Founder, Kieran Aitken, after the two were introduced by Orbit’s Edinburgh Manager Steve Ponton. Andrew bought into the work Orbit was doing with young people, and vowed to mentor a group of teenage Orbiteers launch their careers and businesses through Orbit’s Accelerator Programme.

Andrew is passionate about supporting today’s youth to become the leaders of tomorrow. In an interview with Orbit’s team, Andrew remarked that he is “thoroughly enjoying mentoring S5 Higher pupils from North Berwick High School and Bo’ness Academy.  The entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial spirit they exude is very refreshing.”

Orbit’s Founder, Kieran, praised Andrew’s efforts. “Having Andrew on our Champion Team adds enormous value to the programme and to the students and schools that we serve.”

Kieran highlights that “Andrew refused to take a wage, and insisted that his compensation will come from seeing young people taking his advice and using it to build businesses and secure jobs in the industries of tomorrow. Andrew brings a wealth of experience to our Champion team. More importantly, he radiates a passion for supporting the workforce of tomorrow, and the Orbiteers (and our team) are really grateful for his contribution.”

Pictured: Andrew Morrison from AM Bid.

Andrew is currently mentoring students (or “Orbiteers”) in Orbit’s Edinburgh Programme.

Every month, Andrew meets with five budding entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs and offers them advice, connections, and guidance. At the end of each mentoring session, Andrew helps the Orbiteers to set three targets that are designed to “push them forward”. 

With Andrew’s support, Orbiteers are on the way to securing their dream jobs, created a career plan, and launched their own businesses.

Cerys Pollock, from Bo’ness Academy, said that Andrew has been “inspirational” on her entrepreneurial journey. The seventeen year old budding entrepreneur is in the process of completing market research for her new business, and credits Andrew for his support.

“Andrew has been very helpful on my journey” she said. “It’s not like having a careers adviser; Andrew is a real entrepreneur who is sharing real world experience to help me get my own venture off the ground. He’s very easy to get on with, and it’s an incredible experience to work with someone that has achieved so much in his career”.

“Andrew is set to support five Orbiteers to launch businesses and secure jobs in 2019, and we cant wait to see the results that he inspires our Orbiteers to achieve”, said Edinburgh Manager Steve Ponton.

Andrew talks highly of the Orbit Programme, and notes how the programme “fosters a can-do spirit” within young people. He concludes by saying he “has great respect for what Orbit and the team are achieving and I’m looking forward to continuing the journey with them”.

You can learn more about Andrew Morrison by clicking here.

About Orbit.

Orbit provides the UK’s largest Accelerator Programme for teenagers looking to launch businesses and secure jobs. Every year, we support hundreds of students launch businesses and secure jobs through our 12-month programme. 

We’re a fully self-sustaining Social Enterprise and don’t take a penny from government funds or donations for our work.

We’re in Manchester!

Manchester – March 2019.

Beetham Tower is the home for our Manchester Programme, and will house our Orbiteers participating from schools across the Greater Manchester Region. On Tuesday night we welcomed Orbiteers from Connell Sixth Form College and Lorretto Grammar School to the programme.

In 2019, the Manchester Programme will welcome up to 100 Orbiteers who will receive twelve months of expert support to launch a business or secure a job in the industries of tomorrow. Orbit’s Accelerator Programme contains workshops, mentoring, online courses, and access to leading business figures, and with this support, our Manchester Orbiteers will be developing all the skills and networks they need to succeed.

Orbit’s Managing Director, Kieran Aitken, said that “it’s brilliant to welcome Orbiteers to the Manchester Programme. Orbit now has touch points across the UK, and we’re determined to remove geography as a barrier to having Orbiteers  participate in our programmes.”

Maureen Thompson, from Connell Sixth Form Academy, said that the programme offered a “fantastic opportunity” for students to learn more about business, work, and what it takes to succeed in the world of tomorrow. 

Our current Manchester Orbiteers are looking to launch investment firms, clothing lines, and transportation companies.

Be sure to follow the Orbiteer Times for the latest updates on our Manchester Programme. We’re open for applications, and you can get involved by clicking here.

The Mailman Delivers! Charlie Flynn shares his story with our Glasgow Orbiteers.

Glasgow Gaff – March 2019.

We’ve kicked off the first Life Story event of 2019 with a visit from one of Scotland’s best known boxers. Charlie “The Mailman” Flynn shared his life story with our Glasgow and Edinburgh Orbiteers on Thursday night.

Born in Motherwell, Charlie found his passion for boxing at just seven years old after his father suggested that he fights in the ring, as opposed to on the street. He took up boxing at a local gym, and began fighting in Scottish, British and European tournaments.

Charlie worked full time at the Royal Mail to support his boxing career. He would wake up to train at 6am every morning, go to work, and then train again in the evening.

Before the Commonwealth Games, Charlie recalls being in a “rut” and was pondering over the future of his career. “I had been training for five years, and I had nothing to show for it”, he recalls. “I didn’t have any sponsors, I was balancing my training with a full-time job at the Royal Mail, and my mind was barraged with doubts, fears and anxieties.”

Charlie highlighted the importance of having a role model, or a mentor, that will stay by your side during the tough times. In Charlie’s case, his father kept him going when the going got tough. The Commonwealth Games proved to be the turning point in Charlie’s career.

In 2014, Glasgow hosted the Commonwealth Games, and Charlie spotted his opportunity. “I didn’t realise how big the games would be. My life was changed overnight”. Charlie was competing for the Gold Medal in the lightweight competition. He recalls being nervous at first, but after winning the first fight, his momentum started to grow. “By the time I entered the ring at the final, I believed that I would win. I told my coach halfway through the fight “I’ve won”, and he started shouting at me to stay focused!”

Charlie lifted the Gold Medal, and received a sanding ovation from thousands of Scots in the audience. In a now famous TV interview with Amir Khan after the fight, Charlie thanked everyone who helped him on his journey, and thanked the Scottish fans for their encouragement. After the awards ceremony, Charlie was surrounded by fans and “couldn’t walk down the street” without being mobbed by jubilant Glaswegians. 

Charlie went on to secure sponsorship deals with some of the UK’s largest companies, and had the financial backing to focus on boxing full time. He went on to win a further ten professional fights, and has founded Inspiration for Schools which sees athletes deliver motivational talks to school students around the UK. Charlie is now married, and announced that he will soon be a Dad.

Charlie spent time answering questions from our Orbiteers, Champions and Sponsors. After the interview was complete, he spent time meeting with our Orbiteers in person and giving them his advice on what it takes to achieve success.

Some of the advice included:

1) “Have a plan, with clear milestones and targets.”

2) “Have a mentor who can pick you up when things aren’t going well.”

3) “You’re only as good as your last fight. If you get injured in the boxing world, you’re yesterday’s news. You’ve got to keep fighting. People have short memories, and you’ll only be as good as your last fight.”

You can learn more about Orbit’s Life Story events by clicking here.

Cameron bags a job with the Scottish Government

Edinburgh Gaff - April 2019.

Wowza! 2019 has gotten off to a flying start over on Scotland’s east coast. Since we’re talking about the Edinburgh Programme, it’s only fair that we litter this article with the Edinburgh dialect. In other words, we’ll be saying “ken” after every sentence. Ken?

Anyway, lets get back to business. Cameron Aitken, from Bo’ness Academy, has secured a full time position in the asset management department of The Scottish Government. Cameron, aged 17, said that he was “delighted” to have secured the position. 

Cameron joined the Edinburgh Programme in January 2019 and has already made significant progress. He offered to deliver a pitch on the first session, with 30 Orbiteers (most of whom he hadn’t met before) and Edinburgh Manager Steve Ponton looking on. Cameron nailed the pitch, and has went from strength to strength since.

Mr Latimer,  Cameron’s teacher from Bo’ness Academy, hailed the “superb” news and noted that “Cameron has really enjoyed the work he has done with Orbit and it has been great to see his confidence grow so much in such a short space of time”.

Josh Sweetnam, a Champion on Orbit’s Edinburgh team, praised Cameron for his work ethic. “Cameron was the first in the group to venture out of his comfort zone, and he has sharpened his skills after just three months of joining Orbit’s programme.” Josh, a digital marketing consultant, highlighted Cameron’s willingness to embrace the opportunities that Social Media presents. “Cameron has also built up a successful Youtube channel, which has over 20,000 page views to date. His IT and Digital skills have been nurtured through our monthly mentoring sessions”.

Steve Ponton, who manages Orbit’s Edinburgh Programme, congratulated Cameron on his success and praised his work ethic, attitude, and growth mindset. “Cameron joined the Programme in January, and has already became a rising star within the accelerator programme.”

We caught up with Cameron and asked him a few questions.

Can you tell us more about your new position?

The position I have been offered is ‘Asset Management Administration Officer’ which means I will be helping a team of people manage the Scottish Governments assets as well as doing some administrative work. The apprenticeship will gain me a Level 2 Business Administration Apprenticeship qualification.

How did you find the recruitment & selection process?

The recruitment process was a very good experience. I had been through the recruitment process before, so I knew what it would take for me to secure this position. The online questions I answered were hard questions but I felt like I was able to provide very good answers.

What advice would you give to the other Intraprenuers on Orbit’s Programme around the UK?

I would give the following advice to other intraprenuers on the programme: “Go For It“; three simple words but they carry a lot of weight. If you don’t “Go For It” then you “Won’t Get It”. Don’t worry about the opinions of other people, chances are you won’t even remember who they are in years to come but you always know who you are. Make decisions on what you want to do, and don’t take the opinions of other people too seriously.

What would you say to anyone thinking about applying to Orbit?

I would say “go for it” if you’re thinking about applying to Orbit. I have gained so much in the short time that I’ve been there. It really is an amazing programme for 15-19 year old students to kick-start their career.

You can learn more about Orbit’s Programme by clicking here.