uni inspect: Martin Sharples

Martin Sharples founded uni inspect to help make searching for a degree an easier and quicker process

Names of founders: Martin Sharples

Location: Manchester 

Date Launched: October 2019

Number of employees: 5

Age of founders: 33

Website: uni inspect

Instagram: None 

Which university, if any, did you attend? Manchester Met University 

Martin Sharples founded uni inspect, a comparison site, to help students searching for degrees. Learn how this UK startup is aiming to change the global higher education sector! 

Tell us what your business does: 

Uni inspect is a comparison site to help students find the best undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and NZ.

Students can ‘inspect' over 130,000 English taught degrees from some of the best universities in the world.

So, if you are looking for a bachelor degree, masters or even a PhD, we are the place to go!

When a student inspects a course we direct them to the university course page so they can learn everything about the course straight from the horse's mouth – information like tuition fees, modules and courses, contact hours, facilities, contact details etc are all now easily accessible. You just have to inspect the course that interests you!

Where did the idea for your business come from?

Deciding what and where to study is such a difficult decision for students, we want to make it easier for students to discover ‘what is out there’ in the hope that they will find the right degree for themselves. 

So many students drop out of university because they don’t find the right degree for themselves, which ultimately costs them a lot of time and money. I myself dropped out of university twice and went back a third time and obtained a first-class degree, so I know the pitfalls of not finding the right uni or degree.   

How did you know there was a market for it?

Students will always continue to attend university, but there is a marked increase in international students year on year. We are not just a platform for UK students but also for students around the world looking to find information about universities and degrees.  

More UK students are also looking to study abroad – previously this information has been hard to find. With uni inspect you can compare equivalent degrees such as Biology or Engineering across multiple universities around the world to see if it's of interest.

What were you doing before starting up?

Freelancing in Marketing and Education sectors around the world.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

Yes. 

How did you raise the money?

Self-funded.

Describe your business model and how you make money:

Freemium model, with a paid option for universities.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

Many on a daily basis – both big and small, like most young startups face. I overcame them because I am extremely passionate about making higher education more accessible for everyone, regardless of their social or economic background. We hope as uni inspect evolves we will play a bigger role in making higher education more accessible.

What was your first big breakthrough?

It’s amazing to see people from countries like Chile, India, Iran, Australia etc using the site. It makes it all worth it knowing that students around the world are using uni inspect to help them with their research. 

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

You have nothing to lose, only something to gain. At the very least, if you fail you'll have had an invaluable experience.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

Still working on uni inspect, developing the platform with more cool features for students. This is my passion in life – I live and breathe it!

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