Launched last year by a pair of UCC graduates, UrYearBook.com has expanded in terms of the number of staff it employs and the courses it covers, and has now pledged to donate €1 from every sale to the Student Hardship Fund.
Co-founder David Murray can’t be sure of how much this initiative, which amounts to 2.5% of every yearbook sale, will raise to help students pay for rent, food, college supplies and medical expenses but felt that it was an appropriate gesture towards the college which had served himself and his business partner, Jayne Roynane, so well over their four years of study.
“We had the best 4 years of our lives in UCC. We were lucky enough to have been involved in nearly every aspect of student life in some shape or form over our 4 years and we wanted to give back in some way, as cheesy as that may sound. It was something that we spoke about early last term and seemed the obvious way to give back to UCC.”
UrYearBook aims to help students collect the memories of their time in college in a yearbook which will be ready for their Graduation Day.
The business has developed in the past five months under the wing of UCC’s graduate business innovation centre, the Ignite programme. In this time UrYearBook has not only grown within UCC but has expanded to Mary Immaculate College in Limerick and Mount Mercy Secondary School in Cork City. This has enabled them to hire seven new staff members, among them six UCC students working on a part-time basis.
In January the UrYearBook team spoke at the Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards, held in Tralee, and have also been featured in national print media.
The funding and guidance of the Ignite programme has been crucial to all of this progress. Murray, a BIS graduate, also noted the importance of being a part of a network of entrepreneurs who learn the ropes of running a business together from expert mentors and coaches.
“The experience of being immersed in a place like the Ignite Program has been an incredible experience. Every day is exciting with one of the 10 companies at any one time making sales, getting investment or simply overcoming a business challenge that is common to all of us.”
With that support behind them, Murray is optimistic that the business can continue to develop and grow: “We are really excited by the positive reaction we have gotten and how far we have come over the last few months. With more and more orders coming in everyday it’s hard to know exactly where we will be this time next year but it’s going to be exciting all the way!”