theBizIdea launch inspires new UWE entrepreneurs

Issue date: 27 November 2009

The Bizidea  2009/10 launch The official launch of theBizIdea, the University of the West of England's annual business plan competition for students, staff and alumni, took place on Monday 23 November. A mixture of potential entrants, current sponsors and University staff attended the inspirational event, held at UWE's Frenchay Campus.

Speaking at the launch Jill Burnett, Enterprise Manager for Research, Business and Innovation (RBI) said, “This evening is just the start – throughout the year we will be hosting a range of events aimed at getting entrepreneurs involved, including workshops which provide advice on financial, legal and intellectual property issues. The entry deadline is 15 March, with the winners being announced at the Presentation Evening on 29 April.”

A panel of previous prize-winners including Vashti Richards from Deki Development, Laura Boyle and Louise Halswell from Sew that Jazz and Lorraine Gibbs from Layne Gibbs Communications were on hand at the launch to offer their tips to potential entrants.

“Participating in theBizIdea was a really beneficial experience,” said Laura Boyle of Sew That Jazz, who spoke at the event about being a runner-up in the competition last year. “The process of creating a business plan was really helpful and forced us to consider afresh many aspects of our business idea. And obviously the prizes are a great help for any fledgling enterprise.”

Now entering its ninth year, theBizIdea competition provides entrants with a wide range of assistance including free workshops and access to expert advice. Throughout the course of the academic year entrants receive help and advice as they progress from the development of an initial idea through to the submission of a full business plan.

Finalists are shortlisted and go forward to pitch their ideas to a panel of experts. With three different categories - Business, Social Enterprise and Creative Design – and an additional Marketing prize, there is something for everyone.

Winners receive a combination of cash prizes, a free seat for a year in the UWE Ventures Bristol business incubation centre and a range of in-kind benefits from generous sponsors and supporters.

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