There was excitement in the UQ office as news broke that we had been selected for the Startups 100 2016 index, a ranked list that has built a strong reputation across the last seven years for recognising the UK’s hottest new businesses.
As we popped some celebratory bubbly that evening and shared congratulations all around for ranking in the top 50 of the list, we began reflecting on the growth of UniQuest since Rachel Fletcher and Natalie Letcher started it all nearly three years ago. Inspired by the conversation, I invited Natalie and Rachel for an interview with me the next morning for a deeper dive on their path to building a business that’s making a huge impact on university student recruitment.
You each have a long, successful history in the higher education space. What made you decide to take the risk of starting your own business?
Nat and I have worked in the higher education sector for a long time – we love working with universities and in our conversations with them we found that they needed better support with the changing demands of student recruitment.
We wanted to make their lives easier and saw a way to do this. So, we set out to build a managed student recruitment business grounded in unparallelled client service, a high level of responsiveness to changing market conditions, all underpinned by a market-leading platform to drive greater, real-time insights into the effectiveness of marketing and conversion activities.
So, you set out to do something really different from what was already out there in the market. What would you say makes UniQuest so special?
There is a lot that makes us special, but I’d have to say one of the key qualities is that we help universities meet their enrolment targets in the most economical way possible. We provide huge visibility across the student enrolment journey while we professionally nudge enquirers, applicants and offer-holders toward enrolment. This hands-on approach gives university teams their time back to focus on value-adding activities and the data and insights we share along the way lets them be more strategic during the recruitment cycle. The result for our clients is increased student conversion – and tuition fee revenue – achieved with the greatest cost-efficiency.
We’re really proud of the service the team provides to our university clients, it’s such an embedded relationship and our primary goal has always been to have clients who love us – the whole team here is really committed to making that happen. I think the can-do attitude and genuine mission of all members of our team to go above and beyond for our clients is huge.
What’s next for UniQuest?
Settling into our brilliant new office – and bringing more, excellent talent into the business to do the best job we can.
Product and service development is also huge for us. We are committed to and are investing in staying ahead of the challenges in the market.
If you’d like to hear more from Natalie, Rachel and the team, feel free to contact us. To check out our profile in the Startups 100 2016 index, find us here: startups.co.uk/startups-100/2016/44-uniquest