Issue date: 28 October 2002

UWE’s £20,000 business plan competition, now in its second year, is for students and staff who have an idea they wish to turn into a marketable reality. The top prize is made up of £15,000 in cash and one-year’s rent free space in UWE's INNOVATE business incubator centre in Bristol's city-centre.

The launch on 6 November will feature last year’s winners and runners up, who will describe how their businesses have progressed thanks to winning the competition. Professor Wendy Purcell who, with Jinsheng Xu, won first prize with their plan for improving drug-testing, said:

“Our company, Spheroids, aims to advance the pace of drug development by using cell cultures as alternatives to animal tests. The competition offered us the opportunity to work with a range of specialised external sponsors to develop our science into a business venture.”

Runners-up Jake Rayson and Nathan Hughes of UWE’s Faculty of Art, Media and Design will give an audio-visual demonstration of their prize-winning Jungulator software at the launch. They received £5,000 cash and a space in INNOVATE as their prize. The Jungulator team commented that “winning a prize in the UWE Business Plan Competition has helped demonstrate that the Jungulator self-generative music software has commercial as well as creative potential.”

The launch will be followed by an afternoon workshop for potential entrants entitled “No idea (but I’d like one!)”.

Nick Markovits, Enterprise Manager at UWE’s Centre for Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies, who is organising the competition, said:

“The workshop will help people to come up with ideas for businesses. Topics will include: What makes a good idea? How do you find out if anyone else has already thought of it? What to do once you’ve got an idea, and who might be good to talk to for advice.

“The aim of the competition is to harness creativity and inspire students and staff to pool their talent, energy and ideas to create the businesses of the future.”

The competition is supported by Business Link West, Burges Salmon solicitors, ICON Corporate Finance, Royal Bank of Scotland and Solomon Hare accountants who, together with UWE staff, will provide guidance and mentoring to competition entrants through a series of workshops.


Editor’s notes

1. Press are invited to the launch on 6 November at 12.30 – 2.00pm at UWE’s Frenchay Campus. To attend, please contact Gemma Coupe on 0117 344 3272 or e-mail gemma.coupe@uwe.ac.uk.

2. Further details of the Business Plan Competition are on www.uwe.ac.uk/business

3. Competition Schedule 2002-3

Deadline for registration 18 November 2002
Round 1 winners announced w/c 16 December 2002
Deadline for round 2 entries 17 February 2003
Finalist presentations to judging panel w/c 17 March 2003
Prizegiving event w/c 7 April 2003

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