What links mountain bike armour, super heroes &Trufflehogs?

Issue date: 09 November 2010


South West Universities continue to champion enterprise

SW Enterprise Awards - 16 November 2010 – Plymouth Holiday Inn

Advanced manufacturing techniques to pioneer a mountain biking armour product, a photographic super hero who can be summoned by clients to save their valuable jumbled historical family photos and a children's picturebook publishing company - these are just a few of the ideas from regional entrepreneurs that are competing for a prestigious business prize.

Eight Universities and Colleges based in the South West are competing for prizes worth £15,000 at the second Universities South West Enterprise Awards Winners of Winners business plan competition to be held at the Plymouth Holiday Inn on 16 November 2010.

The institutions taking part in the competition are the Universities of Bath, Bath Spa, Bristol, Exeter, Gloucestershire, Plymouth, the Royal Agricultural College and the University of the West of England (UWE).

Organiser Iwona Tempowski from UWE said, “The range of business ideas is hugely varied and includes social enterprises with social and international dimensions that neatly help us to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week (15-21 November).

“The prize fund has recently been increased to £15,000, to be split between two categories – students and staff /alumni. Successful finalists with high growth potential who continue to be based in the South West will also be offered free mentoring support from GWE Business West.”

Robin Bower, Business Relations Manager for Universities South West, said, “This competition demonstrates how far the South West Universities have come in encouraging and supporting their staff and students to be more entrepreneurial. The Knowledge Escalator programme has helped to embed enterprise in the very fabric of the partner Universities and provides vital early stage funding and advice for prospective entrepreneurs to get started.”

The eight student businesses are:


Take Note! Student Advertising™ which provides companies with an effective and socially responsible platform through which they can advertise and thus connect with students.


Musica, a popular service providing musical activity which has the potential to benefit people with dementia, a current issue for society.

Sundio, a social enterprise aimed at utilising simple, innovative and sustainable solar refrigeration technology to construct warehouses across India to refrigerate crops that ordinarily go to waste.

Drift-MTB – uses innovative design and advanced manufacturing techniques to pioneer the Fork Armour product for downhill mountain bikes, already taken up by the English Downhill Champion.

Active Krav Maga, dedicated to inspire people to become more active through learning a high level self defence system, while also developing a club which promotes a healthy lifestyle and positive change in the local community.


BOO Enterprise , which engages with developing communities in Madagascar to provide market opportunities for a range of innovative, hand crafted products that utilise local materials.

Vermtek offers scientifically based, cost effective solutions to pest problems encompassing a proactive approach to prevention, as well as estate maintenance and other outdoor services.


Photoboy - a photographic super hero who can be summoned by clients to save their valuable jumbled historical family photos.

The four staff / alumni businesses are

Core & Grove, offering technological advancements within the UK alcoholic drinks market, having developed a revolutionary distribution system for one of the fastest growing segments.

Teamup - a free web application that facilitates sports participation by allowing people to easily join, create and share 'micro-events' in their local community, helping them to make the most of their active leisure time.

Trufflehog - a social enterprise established to use the process of publishing children's picture story books as an experiential learning opportunity, whilst also generating income to fund future projects

Cotswold Gold, a high quality rapeseed oil for culinary use produced using 'zero waste' principles.

The event will be hosted by Professor Dave Coslett, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Plymouth. The finalists will also hear from Poppy Stephenson of the Bristol Festival Community Group, staff/alumni runner-up of the first Universities South West Enterprise awards held last year. There will be a Keynote Address from Julie Harris, Chief Executive of Cosmic and a Social Enterprise Champion.

The competition is part of the Knowledge Escalator South West (KE-SW) programme managed by Universities South West. KE-SW is supported by over £2.3 million of European Regional Development Funding investment through the South West RDA and aims to encourage collaboration and enterprise between universities and business in the region.

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