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Volunteers’ Week is a national event that runs annually from 1–7 June. It’s an opportunity for organisations, like the University, to showcase our fantastic community of alumni, students and staff volunteers.

One of our valued volunteers is BSc (Hons) Applied Physics 2015 graduate, Ben Fisher, who is using his life experiences to help others achieve their passion. We asked Ben to tell us about his venture and why he gives his time to help students:  
 
I’m the Founder of Beu: a booking and management platform for salons, self-employed professionals and clients in the hair and beauty industry. As the CEO of Beu, my role is focused on growing the company and providing our clients with the best product possible. 
 
Whilst building Beu, I noticed that there was a gap in the market for cost-effective but high quality development projects, as this was something we struggled with when starting the business. As a result I started another company to help new and established companies get access to the best developers possible, at affordable prices.
The University of Portsmouth gave me my passion for problem solving. I studied Applied Physics which had a heavy emphasis on lateral thinking and solution engineering. I worked on a project to build a gunfire detection system, which used a microphone array to triangulate the exact location of a sniper based on the acoustic signature of the gunshot. This would then feed data into heads up displays, or an automated weapons system to immediately return fire. 
 
Based on this project, I was given the opportunity to work with DSTL (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) for my final year project, where I was tasked with designing a system that allowed soldiers' communication systems to still function in the presence of electromagnetic jammers, so they didn't lose tactical awareness whilst diffusing improvised explosive devices.
When I started Beu, I applied and won a grant from NEST at the University of Portsmouth to build out and develop the idea further, which cemented my connection to the University and the city.
 
Over the last couple of years I have been fortunate enough to be involved with a few activities at the University. I have given talks at the Entrepreneurs' Lounge & Startup funding celebration, and have helped in workshops with master’s students who are studying entrepreneurship.
 
I lost my Dad to cancer just after University, whilst I was in the process of starting Beu. His passion was music and he was lucky enough to make this into his career. He also started a disruptive company on the side, looking to tackle problems with house buying and selling. He was someone I looked up to immensely, and who I would turn to when I needed advice on a problem. I never really got the chance to speak to him about Beu aside from in the very early stages, but I always feel blessed to have him as a role model to inspire me. 
 
University was such a happy time in my life, so I take any chance I can to go back there and if I can help people avoid the same mistakes I made on my startup journey, or inspire them to try and do things a little differently, that is a win for me.