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Strathclyde Business School

MARKED: navigating an entrepreneurial journey

By Garance Locatelli - Posted on 21 March 2024

Garance Locatelli and Mark Smith met while studying entrepreneurship at SBS and together are working on an innovative cycle navigation system to make city cycling safer. Here, they share their journey and the achievements and difficulties along the way.
Mark and I met during our courses at Strathclyde Business School. I studied MSc Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship while Mark followed the MSc Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology course. We worked together on several course projects, notably Creative Venture Planning and Social Entrepreneurship which led us to realise we had complementary strengths and similar work ethics.  
The idea for MARKED: Wayfinding System came from Mark as a combination of his passion for active travel, his two years' experience in the field and the entrepreneurial knowledge he acquired at Strathclyde Business School

MARKED is a holistic cycle navigation system that aims to make sustainable travel an option for everyone by pointing riders towards the city's safe cycle infrastructure. It combines a digital and physical approach to enable riders to plan the journey on their phone and navigate the city only using the physical wayfinding present in the streets.

The support we have received so far at Strathclyde and beyond has been amazing and critical for the evolution of our project. We have been part of several accelerator programmes including Strathclyde Inspire, Geovation Scotland, Transport for Wales, Start for Future and we recently joined STAC. Those programmes always come with great learning content and mentors taking the time to sit with you to try to push your project to the next level. We owe everyone who supported us a big thank you for trusting and helping us.  

We have also participated in competitions such as Scottish Edge and Converge Challenge. Winning the EDGE award represented a huge milestone for us, it not only served as validation of our project potential and its viability; but also enabled us to access a broader network. The funding will be used for product development, enabling us to take crucial steps forward!  

Once again the support given by the entrepreneurial network that surrounds us has been superb and we recently met with MSP Kaukab Stewart as a follow-up of our Scottish Edge Young Edge Award which was a memorable day.
The MSc courses gave us a solid starting point for our entrepreneurial journey. We knew we weren't experts the day we graduated but we had the entrepreneurial vocabulary in mind as well as the most common frameworks and the literature to dive into for more detail. The MSc courses have also been useful in training our entrepreneurial mindset and practising self-reflection. This has proven to be very useful in moments we had to pivot or show resilience towards the project. 

We've learned a lot as fledgling entrepreneurs so far in various ways:

Teamwork: Our entrepreneurial journey has reinforced the importance and value of teamwork.  It is incredibly valuable to find a co-founder and then a larger network with complementary strengths.  

Communication: The last year has also been interesting in learning about how to better communicate with each other. Communication is so key but it’s not a given! Even when you know the other person well, working on an entrepreneurial project is very intense and there are times where one or the other is more tired and communication gets complicated. It’s important to try to understand how the other person feels, works, reacts and how you can support them. Adjustments need to be made all the time for a high performing team to come together.  

Collaboration: We realise how important it is to collaborate and create a wider network of supporters, advisers, and friends. The feedback and support we receive has been invaluable for our project and has enabled us to avoid getting siloed in our own ideas.  

Bold: Our entrepreneurial journey taught us that there are no good or bad answers written, no clear path. It’s in our hands to decide what we will do with the project and this sometimes involves taking bold and risky decisions out of instinct.  

Looking to the future, we are currently working towards the proof of concept of our idea, developing an MVP of our digital navigation system with Geovation Tech Team and the physical wayfinding with Strathclyde DMEM thanks to an Interface Voucher.  

Our big goal is a pilot study during the summer, we have the prototypes, the funding and the plan. We can’t wait to roll this out in the streets! 

Contact details

 Undergraduate admissions
 +44 (0)141 548 4114

 Postgraduate admissions
 +44(0)141 553 6118 / 6119


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