Date: 8th June 2011
June 9th 2011 - SETsquared announced the winners of its inaugural showcase of student entrepreneurship awards last night in front of the business, investor and entrepreneur community of the South West. These awards recognise the most promising entrepreneurs of the future and the best student enterprise ideas.
The showcase event in Bath brought together students from across the SETsquared partnership to recognise some of the best up and coming entrepreneurial talent in Southern England. The winners were chosen from the 90,000 students at the five SETsquared member universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey.
Some of these ranged from providing soup to the homeless to wave generated electricity, and from mobile apps to sex education lessons.
• Best Graduate Start-up – having already made sales, Thoughtified Ltd and its cloud based application ManagePlaces manages teams and projects task remotely and in different locations. It informs team members of required activities on the go.
• Best Social Enterprise – Right Light which provide solar powered lamps via micro lending and self funding schemes in developing countries to bring families out of poverty and improve health.
• Best Student Enterprise Experience – SIFE (students in free enterprise) Southampton a society of 100 student volunteers who run social projects impacting local young people and poor rural families in developing countries. They will represent the UK in the SIFE world later this year.
• Best Student Start-up – Guitar Lesson Lounge that provides creative and high quality video online guitar lessons with passionate teachers.
From the University of Surrey, the best student start-up and overall champion, Gulliaume Devinat of Guitar Lesson Lounge said: “The level of support from the university was amazing and I couldn’t have achieved this without them. I used to try to do everything with the business but now I am the leader and the marketer, I have really good people to help me.”
“The SETsquared Universities have come together to give students extra options for their future. The awards recognise that the spirit of entrepreneurship is thriving in our Universities,” said Keith Robson, Chairman of the SETsquared Management group and director of research and enterprise support at the University of Surrey.
“Starting your own company is not just a great experience for the students it is good for the economy too. It was great to see some of our talented young entrepreneurs get recognised for their achievements” he said.
As well as being able to meet with young entrepreneurs from other universities, the showcase provided an opportunity for students to bring their entrepreneurial ideas to a wider business audience including investors and business mentors.
A full list of entries and video presentations can be found here: http://www.setsquared.co.uk/Student+Enterprise/Student+Showcase
List of winners are:
• Best Student Start-up – Guitar Lesson Lounge - University of Surrey. Highly commended was UniSportOnline – University of Exeter http://www.setsquared.co.uk/Student+Enterprise/Student+Showcase/Best+Student+Start-up
• Best Graduate Start-up - Thoughtified Ltd - University of Surrey http://www.setsquared.co.uk/Student+Enterprise/Student+Showcase/Best+Graduate+Start-up
• Best Student Enterprise Experience - SIFE Southampton - University of Southampton http://www.setsquared.co.uk/Student+Enterprise/Student+Showcase/Best+Student+Enterprise+Experience
• Best Social Enterprise - Right Light - University of Southampton
• Business Mentor of the Year - Gavin Eddy - University of Bath http://www.setsquared.co.uk/Student+Enterprise/Student+Showcase/Business+Mentor+of+the+Year
• Overall Winner – Guitar Lesson Lounge - University of Surrey
The overall winner received a year’s membership of the Entrepreneur’s Circle, an organisation for entrepreneurs that acts as the mechanism to allow them to learn from one another and attain greater business success.
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 business acceleration 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 and more than 1,000 jobs created.
SETsquared supports student enterprise including an annual showcase and a global scholars program. It provides opportunities for industry to access academic ideas with commercial potential and seeks to promote the impact, economically and socially, of its institutions’ research and enterprise activities.
Nick Daines, Lumen PR
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