PA 71/09 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.