Budding entrepreneurs will receive a considerable boost to their careers this week at Nottingham University Business School.
They are vying for the Student Venture Challenge with ideas which include headphones with built in MP3 players for sportsmen and women, interactive software with which to learn a musical instrument and a national system for preventing PC meltdown.
The Student Venture Challenge is The University of Nottingham's business plan competition. It is run by the Business School's Institute for Enterprise and Innovation (UNIEI) with the support of the Centre for Career Development.
The competition is open to students across the University and this year’s finalists represent a diverse range of subjects including science, engineering and humanities.
The award ceremony will take place on Thursday evening at the Sir Colin Campbell building, Jubilee Campus. Before the awards are announced, the finalists will present a three minute pitch of their idea to the audience.
Professor Martin Binks, Director of The University of Nottingham Institute for Enterprise and Innovation said: “Entrepreneurial Creativity is of increasing importance in any dynamic economy but attempts to realise the potential that it offers must be well organised and planned. The University of Nottingham Business Plan Competition engages students in the process from creativity to planned innovation.”
The event is sponsored by Abbey Business Banking, Browne Jacobson and supported by Nottingham Entrepreneurs.
Sharon Pilkington, Relationship Manager, Abbey Business Banking said: “Individuals move the world forward with their Creativity, Knowledge, Planning and Determination to succeed and it is a privilege to be a sponsor of the 2009 Business Plan competition. It is exciting to think that we may have seen the ideas of one of our future entrepreneurs at this early planning stage, and we wish all of the applicants every success in bringing their plans to a successful reality.”
Paula Dumbill, Associate Solicitor, Browne Jacobson said: “The next generation of entrepreneurs are key to the success of this region, which is why we are proud to be sponsoring their achievements through the business planning competition. It is more important than ever that new business ventures develop robust ideas and have solid plans for execution — and we are pleased that such a competition will be helping nurture these skills at grass roots. We hope to see the success of their efforts in years to come.”
Ben Grech, President of Nottingham Entrepreneurs said: “Too many start-ups fall foul of bad planning or procrastination. The Business Planning Competition gives prospective entrepreneurs a structured and guided opportunity to dedicate time to the planning stages of their start up, and do it properly. It is a valuable learning opportunity for all who participate, one that Nottingham Entrepreneurs is proud to be associated with.”
The 2009 Finalists are:
bGrantez — Alejandro Macedo, MSc Computer Science and Entrepreneurship. bGrantez intend to revolutionise the way student placements are managed in Spain with their innovative software solution.
Eova — Jonathan Coussens BA (Hons) Finance, Accounting and Management and Mark Dale BA (Hons) Management Studies. eova plan to develop sports-focused headphones with a built in MP3 player with features specifically designed to answer the needs of cross country runners.
iSEE — Zenna Tavares MEng (Hons) Electronic Engineering. Those who have been confused by signage or menus while abroad will appreciate this innovation from iSEE.
IT UK — Aaron Ferguson BA (Hons) History. Students rely so heavily on their PCs that failures can be disastrous. IT UK plan to provide a computer diagnosis and repair service tailored to the needs of students.
Sonix Media Ltd. — Andrew Webber BSc (Hons) Physics and Astronomy. Learning a musical instrument will always be a challenge, but Sonix Media’s software based instant feedback system could make life a whole lot easier.
The University of Nottingham Institute for Enterprise and Innovation (UNIEI) is one of the leading centres of excellence in enterprise education in Europe and a founder member of the UK Science Enterprise Centre Network.
Its mission is to be a centre of excellence in the development of enterprise and entrepreneurial skills, innovation and understanding the commercialisation of research. Globally, it is recognised that creativity, innovation, risk, knowledge transfer and technology transfer are key to competitiveness — UNIEI provides the Business School and the University with the platform to build on these issues.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.
The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's “only truly global university”, it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.
Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives (www.science-city.co.uk) in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.