Alumni Services

March 2019

These alumni have taken their ideas off the ground, from an app that helps people get onto the property ladder to a charity that gets people chatting about the menopause.

Lift off

Our featured alumni have founded a tech company, a fashion brand, a first-of-its-kind education group, a support charity and invented games.

Their experiences have shaped some common insights: Arts graduates Freddie Altman and Alexander F. L. Newberry emphasise that university is a time to develop your thinking. It's a springboard for any number of possible paths - and not just ones directly related to your chosen subject. Rachel Weiss and Cennydd John encourage you to pursue your passion in defiance of naysayers - any time spent in this pursuit is time well spent. Finally, keen collaborator Ciorstaidh Monk suggests reaching out to people you admire.

Freddie Altman

Freddie Altman

Languages graduate Freddie Altman left a corporate graduate programme to do his own thing. He's now running a startup that helps people get onto the property ladder more quickly.

Read Freddie Altman's profile.


We’re trying to address a social issue that’s acutely affecting the younger generation. No matter how well you do in your degree or how great your job is, without financial support, owning a home is becoming increasingly out of reach.

Freddie AltmanCo-founder and CEO, Homewards

Ciorstaidh Monk

Ciorstaidh Monk

Intermedia graduate Ciorstaidh Monk co-founded a Scottish sleepwear brand with a focus on minimalist design, comfort and modern luxury.

Read Ciorstaidh Monk's profile.

Be authentic, trust what you are drawn to and do it. Nobody has your creative brain so trust yourself!

Cennydd John

Cennydd John

Founder of the UK’s first bilingual Mandarin-English early years education group, Cennydd John explains how it all started with Chinese studies at Edinburgh.

Read Cennydd John's profile.

I trace a direct line from my time in Edinburgh to the idea to set up Hatching Dragons: the formative experiences of travelling to China in my second year created my desire to develop something that would encourage greater understanding between us all.

Cennydd JohnFounder and CEO, Hatching Dragons

Rachel Weiss

Menopause Café founder Rachel Weiss

Rachel Weiss founded a charity that encourages people to meet up and talk about the menopause at pop-up events around the UK.

Read Rachel Weiss's profile.

We are hosting the world’s only Menopause Festival in Perth, Scotland, this year on 26 and 27 April 2019. Join us for talks, film, creative workshops and comedy. Break the taboo and have some fun!

Rachel WeissFounder, Menopause Café

Alexander F. L. Newberry

Alexander Newberry

After swapping the music industry for teaching, Alexander F. L. Newberry's work as a private tutor led him to develop an educational game that is now being rolled out in schools across the US.

Read Alexander F. L. Newberry's profile.

My mission is to improve numeracy worldwide – I feel that doing so will make a genuine difference to the future, and there is nothing more inspirational to me than that idea.

Alexander F. L. NewberryInventor, Numberella

Inspire Launch Grow

Inspire Launch Grow is the annual celebration of enterprise at the University. Recent graduates, entrepreneurial staff and students can enter their business or social enterprise into the Inspire Launch Grow awards to win cash prizes and a photography package. Deadline for entries is 1 April 2019.

Find out more and apply:

Inspire Launch Grow

Send us your profile

We are interested in the role that the University has played in your life, either directly - in terms of skills and knowledge - or indirectly, via friends, experiences or chance encounters. Please get in touch and you and your experiences could feature on our website.