Meet the DMU Crucible graduates on the path to business success

Graduates from De Montfort University Leicester have taken the first step on the path to business success with Crucible, DMU’s bespoke programme for entrepreneurial alumni.

New picture of Seri

Seri Ismail, 23,  is launching a luxury fashion website

Participants receive a package of business mentoring, advice and support at DMU’s Innovation Centre, where they will be supported in turning their ideas into reality all within eight months.

Now in its fourth year, the Crucible programme at DMU has generated some real success stories, with a number of our alumni receiving recognition in local and national media for their achievements.  

Some have gone on to win national awards while others have received investment up to £150,000. 

Posie Upshall

Posie Upshall, 23, is developing an ethical and sustainable lingerie brand

This year’s Crucible cohort of 10 graduates were each chosen for the programme after pitching their business idea to a panel of judges. A shortlist was drawn up and the eventual Crucible team chosen after interviews.


Be inspired. Come to the next DMU Open Day

Entrepreneurs share top tips with with start-ups at DMU

Water-way to go! Student scoops £1,000 with brilliant business idea

While their ideas are wildly different – including launching a lingerie brand, organic temporary tattoos, running a theatre company and a patented electricity supply system – they will all learn the basics of running and building a brand, intellectual property, marketing and cash flow at regular masterclasses, as well as getting support on their business journey.

Oliver Shepherd

Oliver Shepherd, 22, is developing a sports app

Business mentor Percy Emmett said: “We have people at different stages of the business journey – some are already trading, some are in the very early stages of thinking about who their audience is and what form their business will take.

“We’ve got some great ideas again this year and I’m looking forward to working with them all and supporting them on their entrepreneurial journeys.” 


As part of the Crucible package, each graduate is given free shared office space at The Innovation Centre, which runs a co-working café and regular free business sessions for start-ups; mentoring, training workshops and access to funding to support their business.   Any student, staff or alumni interested in developing their entrepreneurial experiences and skills are encouraged to use the cafe, working alongside local freelancers and business owners who work from the space each day.

Anita Obeng-Darko

Anita Obeng-Darko , 22, is developing an online platform for the beauty and events field

Previous Crucible participants include pyrotechnic artist Marcus Dove, whose work has been featured in The Saatchi Gallery and Elissa Grainger, named ASOS Designer of the Year. 

  Lam Thai

 Lam Thai is working on an electricity patent business 

Sarah Shepherd

Sarah Shepherd, 23, is setting up a contemporary ceramics homewares business

Kirstie Johnson

Kirstie Johnson has created Ten 29 Theatre Collective with Ross Thomson

Sarah Jane Charlton

Sarah Jane Charlton, 22,  is creating a laser cut and 3D print homeware collection

Asimina New Photo

Asimina Tsakona, 30, is launching an innovative furniture design company



Posted on Wednesday 17th January 2018

  Search news archive