'A cut above' - students help develop hairdressing app

Lewis and Jordan Hackney are young Staffordshire entrepreneurs with big ideas.  

Working with his hairdresser brother Jordan, Lewis spotted the potential for a hairdressing app that puts customers in touch with hairdressers, and enables them to book an appointment and then review their experience in much the same way that Uber does for taxis and Airbnb does for accommodation.

Having developed the app himself to a basic level, Lewis called in specialist support from Keele University.  Through the Keele Research Innovation and Support Programme (KRISP)*, he received the expert support of Computer Science students Jessica Hampton and Joe Miller.

Together they’ve taken the app to a full prototype stage.  For Lewis, the next step is to complete technical development, finesse the business model, source funding and proceed to launch.  Lewis is not daunted by the prospect and credits Keele University with helping take the concept forward so quickly. “Working with Keele has been easy, and for what you put in you get a huge amount of help,” says Lewis.

Businesses supported through KRISP have the backing of Keele’s academic team.  Dave Collins, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing and Mathematics, has maintained a watchful eye on the project, and has helped Trym Hair move towards getting vital funding to commercialise the product.

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent businesses can benefit from a range of specialist support and funding. Interested companies should contact Keele University’s Business Gateway on 01782 733001 or business.gateway@keele.ac.uk.

ERDF logo *The KRISP project (ref: 32R16P00711) is part-funded from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds England Growth Programme 2014-2020.