Spreading love from Umeå to the world
[2012-10-11] As two international master’s students in Business Development and Internationalisation, Martin Jara and Terry Wayburne wanted to put their theoretical knowledge into practice. At Umeå University, they found the perfect environment to start their own event production company. What began as a student start-up is on its way to grow into a global business.
Martin and Terry met during their first days at Umeå University, both out-going and enthusiastic students with the drive to create something different. “It all started with a group of friends who wanted to do something fun and share memories,” Terry remembers.
Inspired by Umeå’s large international student community, they started to organise parties for their friends and fellow students. “I guess it was a huge think tank where Terry, I and other friends started this project, contributing with our enthusiasm and life experiences which resulted in the Love and Lust project,” says Martin.
After a few first events in a basement under a student dorm in Ålidhem, their concept attracted the attention of Umeå’s club scene, and the Love and Lust parties moved to a local pub. The concept of UV-light paint parties, originating from the full moon parties in Thailand, soon became an attraction that drew the crowds.
“We want every event to be special, a night you don’t forget and a memory you create with your friends. That is how we came up with our motto ‘Paint me a love story’,” the two describe their motivation.
Hence, they want the project to be more than an event production company. Under the name “The Love Campaign”, they gathered a group of friends and gave out free hugs in downtown Umeå, an initiative to spread warmth and joy during the coldest months in Northern Sweden. “There is a meaning behind what we do, which emphasises the importance of friendship, togetherness and love,” Martin explains. One of their next projects is to develop the Love Campaign further and raise money for charity.
“Umeå is a hub for innovation and start-ups”
Both Martin and Terry have an extensive international background: Terry is from Hong Kong with South African parents, and earned his bachelor’s degree in International Management in the United Kingdom. Martin was born in Ecuador grew up in Brazil and studied International Relations and Advertisement in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His work experience includes traineeships at Ogilvy & Mather in Costa Rica and New York City.
In 2010, they started the master’s programme in Business Development and Internationalisation at Umeå University. “Sweden is one of the most innovative countries in the world, and Umeå University offered the program I was looking for, not only because of the focus on entrepreneurship, but also because of its emphasis on corporate responsibility & sustainability,” Martin explains his reason for choosing Umeå University.
Here they found the perfect environment to start their own company. “Umeå is a hub for innovation and start-ups. People are young and enthusiastic, and the facilities and the infrastructure are just great,” Terry says.
Their study programme provided them not only with the necessary knowledge in entrepreneurship, but also put them in touch with people who could help them. “We got a lot of support from the University, they helped us with the whole process of founding our company Love and Lust Limited,” Martin says. Through a class at Umeå University, they made contact with Uminova Innovations AB, which among other things offers support to students with business ideas. “The people at Uminova are fantastic. They help you with everything and walk you through it”, Terry says.
Both agree that the practical experience they gained by starting their own company is invaluable. “No degree teaches you the lessons that you learn by doing it. I’d recommend every student to get hands-on practical experience,” Terry says.
What began as a student start-up is on its way to grow into a global business. After finishing their studies, both Martin and Terry moved back to their home countries, where they hosted Love and Lust parties in Quito and Hong Kong. Now Terry is back in Umeå to further develop the project in Scandinavia, whereas Martin’s focus is on the Americas. Next stops include Miami and New York City.
For the future, both of them wish to not only see their company grow further, but to be able to truly make a difference in society, spiritually and financially. “My plans for the future involve generating businesses that contribute to the welfare of societies while acting as a bridge between Scandinavia and the Americas,” says Martin.
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Caption first picture: Terry Wayburne
Caption second picture: Martin Jara
Editor: Christina Hülsmann
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2015-02-20 End Ecoside