Date: 25th May 2012
May 25th 2012 - The SETsquared Partnership (www.setsquared.co.uk) announced the winners of its second annual student entrepreneurship awards last night in front of the business, investor and entrepreneur community of Southern England. These awards recognise the most promising up and coming entrepreneurs and student businesses.
Guest presenter Simon Woodroffe OBE, founder of YO!, inspired the student entrepreneurs with his experience of creating a set of successful businesses under the YO! brand. The winners were chosen from the 90,000 students at the five SETsquared member universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey.
The diverse and bold entries ranged from renting online gaming servers by the hour to fashionable and ethically made socks sold for local homeless and from student handout/lecture note banner advertising to an exclusive club for recent graduates.
The winners include:
• Best Graduate Start-up – UniSport – highly commended in last year’s awards, UniSport provides live online coverage of UK university sport. Think of them as Sky Sports for British student sport.
• Best Social Enterprise – FoodCycle Bristol – every Sunday, students collect on bike trailers, surplus food from local shops for a community kitchen and prepare a free three course meal to those in need.
• Best Student Start-up – The Underground Bookclub – provides commuters a metro-style free magazine but instead of news, it has the first few chapters of new books to try and perhaps buy. They already have funding and trials have been very encouraging.
• Best Student Enterprise Experience – University of Bath’s Student Enterprise Shop Competition – where nine teams of students were given a loan and one day trading to make the most profit.
• People’s Choice Award – University of Surrey’s SIFE entry Ricycle, helping rice farmers in Thailand be sustainable.
Simon Woodroffe OBE, founder of YO! said: “I have loved seeing so many innovative businesses from across the five universities. It’s great SETsquared is giving these students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and business skills to create our business leaders of the future.“
The winner of the Best Student Enterprise Experience, 29 year-old Luke Tregidgo, final year PhD student in engineering at the University of Bath said: “It’s fantastic to have the recognition for the project. It has had such a big impact on the students at Bath, from 1st year students to post graduates and from mature to international students. It was an invaluable experience to get hands-on business skills and it’s great that SETsquared have decided this year to take the idea and make it the Uni Popshop competition, running across the five universities.”
A full list of entries and video presentations can be found here: http://www.setsquared.co.uk/partnership/student-enterprise/student-enterprise-awards-2012
This award event is one of the many ways SETsquared supports student entrepreneurship. A full year-long programme of activities includes the Kauffman Global Scholars Program, a Deloitte business pitching contest, Xing business planning and a number of enterprise boot camps. SETsquared is also holding an “apprentice” style trading day at Spitalfields Market called Uni Popshop on June 28th when student teams will compete to see who can make the most profit in one day.
Supporting images available on request.
About the SETsquared Partnership
The SETsquared Partnership is the enterprise collaboration of the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. Together, the universities employ 7,400 academic staff; earn nearly 10% of the UK’s higher education research budget; and produce 11% of all UK university patents.
The Partnership has a 10-year track record of supporting companies through its innovation centres, which provide access to industry specialists, investors and experienced entrepreneurs. SETsquared currently supports over 250 early stage high-tech, high growth potential businesses, and 88% of its incubated companies are still in business three years on. In the past five years, nearly £0.75bn in investment funding has been raised by spin outs and incubated companies.
SETsquared supports its student population of over 90,000 graduate and undergraduates to gain hands on business skills and entrepreneurial training through experiential inter-university activities. The Partnership also provides opportunities for industry to access academic ideas with commercial potential and develop collaborative R&D relationships. The Partnership seeks to promote the impact, economically and socially, of its institutions’ research and enterprise activities.
Nick Daines / Sheelagh Connelly, Lumen PR
nick[at]lumenpr[dot]com / sheelagh[at]lumenpr[dot]com
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