Enterprise support

Entrepreneurial spirit from Brookes graduate as new App launches!

Wednesday, 21 November 2018


The spectacular sights of San Francisco weren’t the only discoveries Kate Nightingale made on a solo trip to California in 2017. After establishing that nothing existed to help those travelling alone to connect, 12 months after returning from her American adventure, she launched BackApper – a social media platform allowing users to find other independent travellers whilst abroad.

Ambitious and driven, Kate’s entrepreneurial spirit started at the age of 15 when she started buying products in bulk from China and selling them online. She then went on to launch an events company and founded the Brookes Business Society whilst studying at university. Now working full-time on BackApper with a first-class honour’s degree in Business and Management from Oxford Brookes under her belt, there’s simply no stopping her.

Taking part in Brookes Enterprise Support workshops, meeting regularly with mentors, as well as entering competitions whilst studying at Brookes, played a vital role in Kate’s start-up journey.

She credits the Enterprise Support Team for the help she received in learning how to pitch and write a business plan, and for the networking opportunities and funding given to assist in the development of her idea.

Earlier this year, BackApper received £3,000 investment from Brookes Enterprise Support, funding that allowed the completion of the app and its subsequent launch onto Apple’s App Store. Kate was then shortlisted to pitch at the semi-finals of the National Santander Entrepreneurship Awards – one the of the UK’s largest student and graduate pitching competitions.

“I had excellent 1:1 support from the mentors at Brookes Enterprise, who I still keep in touch with. The team helped me to form fantastic networks both in and out of the university, which have been crucial to my start up journey.”

Facing challenges head on, working hard and utilising the time you have at university is the advice she offers other budding entrepreneurs.

As Kate herself states; “be fearless of what sets your soul on fire”. It’s this positive mindset and can-do attitude combined with the belief that mistakes are invaluable (and learning the hard way is often the only way), which has helped her keep a strong focus on the end goal.

Now seeking investment to integrate more features and launch a nationwide marketing campaign, we’re excited to see what’s next for this innovative digital service and determined young entrepreneur, on a mission to reinvent solo travelling.

BackApper is available for download on the App Store for iOS devices.