UWE's theBizIdea competition boosts innovation

Issue date: 05 May 2010

Creative prize winners with Richard Noble Prizes worth over £22,500 have been awarded to the winners of the best business, social enterprise and creative ideas in the University of the West of England's theBizIdea competition. The best ideas in each category won £5000 and a rent-free space, worth around £2500, in UWE Ventures business incubator, and various start-up packages to boost the winners' skills and business.

Seventeen finalists competed at the finals event to win the opportunity to make their business a reality. Guest speaker and world land speed record holder Richard Noble OBE shared the secrets of his success in an inspirational presentation. He encouraged all the finalists saying that building a new enterprise was not just having an idea but about making it happen.

Winners of the business category, Pies Cream, came up with a unique product concept which enables event and festival goers to enjoy hearty foods on the move. They aim to establish themselves as a leading brand for the events food market.

Creators Alex Tristram and James Purslow said, “This is the highest accolade we have received so far. It provides validation for our idea, boosts our confidence and will open doors for us. Taking part in the competition has given us loads of useful contacts and ideas on running a business.”

First prize in the social enterprise category was awarded to Joe Constant, founder of Kick Start Enterprise, who works with young people, parents and teachers on the Hero Programme to give young people greater self-knowledge, confidence and self esteem.

Winner of the creative idea category was Holly Hearn, of Start Cards, a greetings card business which promotes up and coming Bristol and West Country artists and is already on sale in a major high-end retailer.

David Hedley, from one of the sponsors, Business Link, told the finalists, “There are no losers tonight. If you have come along here tonight as a finalist you have come a long way.”

In all, eight budding business, creative and social enterprise ideas won nine awards at theBizIdea's prizegiving evening, which celebrated innovation and enterprise among UWE's staff, students and alumni.

There were also prizes for the idea with the best marketing element, the idea that makes the best use of social networking and for the idea that got the most interactive audience votes.

Presenting the prizes, Vice-Chancellor Steve West said, “Each year the competition gets better and better. We are helping create entrepreneurs and innovators who are having a global reach. Among the 35 start-up businesses in the UWE Ventures incubator, three have already reached annual turnovers of £250,000.

“UWE is using a range of activities including theBizidea competition to develop skills recognised by employers as entrepreneurial. We are working with the community to see that Bristol and the region comes out of the recession faster and in a sustainable way.”

All entrants of theBizIdea have received 6 months virtual incubation provided by UWE business advisors at Ventures (in Bristol's Harbourside at Bush House) to encourage entrepreneurship and develop their ideas.

The competition's sponsors and supporters include: Business Link; Bristol City Council; Lloyds TSB; Roxburgh Milkins; CIM; Glasses Direct; Institute of Business Consulting; Robson Taylor, Kinneir Dufort; Jordans; Social Enterprise Works; Nomensa and UWE Students Union.

For more details on the competition visit

Editor's notes

theBizIdea Competition is supported by Knowledge Escalator. The Knowledge Escalator project is part financed by the European Union's ERDF Competitiveness and Employment Programme 2007-13 , securing £1,833,000 of ERDF investment through the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA.

The full list of prize winners is as follows:

Business Category
Winner – James Purslow and Alex Tristram, Pies Cream
Runner up - Tom Derrett of ADR solutions, an online service providing advice and support to landlords and letting agents who are disputing protected security deposits at the end of a tenancy

Social Enterprise
Winner – Joe Constant, founder of Kick Start Enterprise and the self-development Hero Programme
Joint Runners-up – Luke Boulton-Major for Karma Care, a community interest company providing alternative sports and activities for primary school children; Steve Glover for Severn Project CIC, designed to support individuals post treatment for addiction issues.

Creative Category
Winner – Holly Hearn with Start Cards, promoting up and coming Bristol and West Country artists
Runner-up – Paul Blakemore of Photoboy, a photographic archiving service that digitally remasters family historical photographs

Marketing prize sponsored by CIM
Adrian Hull of Arcomis, a service to promote the commissioning of new classical music for special occasions

Social networking prize for theBizIdea entrant with the most number of online votes
Aaron Heyworth and Martin Liniker of ADSYST EnergySafe with their SentryCook device

Audience prize voted by the audience present at the evening
James Purslow and Alex Tristram - Pies Cream

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