SACU came into existence in June 2013. The concept, name, initial tools and services were mapped out while on the never tedious train journey from London to Cheltenham. A year earlier Steve and Peter, the co-founders of SACU, who between them have over 25 years of UCAS experience, had left the world of central admissions to start their own software company. Now brimming with ideas they were ready to get back into that world.
Despite both working at the UCAS HQ building in Cheltenham they had managed to avoid each other for a considerable amount of time – we’re talking years! One fateful day they both willingly accepted secondments to work within a small project team and met for the first time. Peter had spent three years getting to know the real people behind the system – teachers, students & university staff. Steve was from IT – a department not known for pandering to real people. Therefore it came as an unexpected and delightful surprise for Peter to find Steve was a natural ally when it came to putting the customer first and for Steve to find that Peter was able to turn on his own computer.
A connection was made that day and since then the pair have made it their mission to provide students, schools and colleges with great value services…it still makes them smile when schools cannot believe that the Spartan Test is completely free for students, yes we said “completely free” 🙂
Steve Harrop Director & co-founder, SACU Ltd
Steven graduated from Royal Holloway University in 1991 with a BSc in Computer Science. He got his first taste of the management machine when he joined PCAS, and later UCAS, working in both their IT and Customer Strategy Departments. Inspired by the UCAS’ vision of helping applicants reach their full potential, Steven went on to build UCAS’ first ever online application services and helped UCAS to become one of the first public sector bodies to achieve near 100% online applications. Steven has always had a passion for simple solutions that work for the good of the customer and was driven to co-launch his first start-up company in 2012 – Demand Analysis Ltd, followed a year later by the SACU venture. He’s promised his wife he’ll not start any more businesses!
Peter Mulligan Director & co-founder, SACU Ltd
Despite getting a first class honours degree in building engineering and looking set for a solid future of road building in the ever reliable construction industry, Peter instead went on to complete a Masters degree in classical and contemporary military strategy and the history of secret intelligence – which doesn’t help as much as you would think when playing Risk! After 2 years spent trying to be an Emergency Planning Officer, Peter made the very natural jump to UCAS spokesman. For three years Peter thrived in this role, giving keynote presentations throughout the country at all the major higher education conferences as well as speaking at most of the UK universities and in hundreds of schools in the UK and abroad. His last years at UCAS were spent taking this hard won knowledge and using it to improve UCAS’ services. A background in engineering, military strategy, emergency planning and UCAS, has surprisingly proved to be the perfect preparation for setting up two software companies.