The perfect recipe for Fish on Toast – five questions with Asher Fischbaum
Computer Science student Asher Fischbaum is at the heart of a dynamic student startup culture with Fish on Toast, one of Southampton’s largest and liveliest societies.
As part of our Five Questions (5Qs) series, he offers a glimpse inside the entrepreneurship and business group and shares his ambitions for the future.
There are over 300 different student groups at Union Southampton. How are you making the most of the University experience?
University is a great place to experience new things. Students at this university are extremely lucky. We have societies for anything a student could want to do. During Bunfight in first year I signed up to approximately 30 societies and spent the semester whittling them down to three. I would really recommend all freshers to try whatever they may be interested in.
I am now particularly involved in two societies: The Polo Club, of which I am the president, and Fish on Toast, for which I run the incubator. I also partake in multiple other sports at the University.
I went to the polo taster sessions to get over my fear of animals, and after the first two hours I fell in love with the sport.
Fish on Toast was a funny story. The first event I showed up to was the AGM where, along with a friend, we decided we could run the incubator better than it had been run previously, so ran for the position.
What is Fish on Toast and how can people take part?
Fish on Toast is a student-led business and entrepreneurship society and we do a variety of things. We host regular presentations, skills workshops and startup conferences. Additionally, I run the Spark Southampton incubator helping students go from a startup idea to having an early product and even a first funding round.
We’re often asked where the name comes from… that’s such a well-guarded secret that even we don’t know anymore!
People can take part in many ways, from showing up to our events to joining the committee. We are always looking for enthusiastic students to join our excellent team.
What do you enjoy most about Fish on Toast?
The people and the connections. During my time with Fish on Toast I have had a chance to meet many incredible people, some of whom have become close friends. The network you build through Fish on Toast is unparalleled at this university.
Through Fish on Toast, I also heard about Future Worlds’ annual Dragons’ Den competition, which I entered with my friend Brian Formento in 2016. It was an exciting process to work with mentors to refine a business idea and pitch it to dragon investors, and I’d really recommend other student entrepreneurs think through entering themselves when applications open again later this year.
A promising pitch for a social app. Over to you dragons… pic.twitter.com/TQy9z0WxT1
— Future Worlds (@FutureWorlds) May 7, 2016
What would you like to do after university?
There are three main areas I am particularly passionate about: polo, real estate and startups/growth companies. Unfortunately, I don’t think I will become a professional polo player. I have, however, accepted a job with Goldman Sachs and will be joining the Real Estate Finance team in July. In future, I see myself creating a startup and solving a real problem.
What would be your advice for students that are thinking about entrepreneurship and business for the first time?
Just do it!
Go for it. The best opportunities in my life have come when I just went for it, often being told that it wasn’t possible. And, if you need help, come talk to me. I’d be happy to point you in the right direction…