Issue date: 21 January 2003

Eleven bright ideas for businesses of the future have been selected to go through to the next stage of the University of the West of England’s £20k Business Plan Competition. Twenty-one outline business plans were initially received from staff and student teams following the competition’s launch last November. The competition is being run for the second year and is organised by UWE’s Centre for Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies. The shortlisted finalists were chosen by competition judges and sponsors Burges Salmon, Business Link, ICON Corporate Finance, Royal Bank of Scotland and Solomon Hare.

The teams have until mid-February to develop their idea into a more detailed business plan, with the focus on commercialising their new idea or product. They must also produce a brief on how they would utilise the prize fund if successful. The first prize is worth £20,000, made up of £15,000 in cash and one-year’s rent free accommodation to develop the idea at UWE’s city-centre business incubator. The winner will be announced at a prizegiving event in the spring.

Last year’s Business Plan Competition runners-up - music software creators Jungulator - already have a success story to celebrate. This company, currently based in UWE’s business incubator, won a contract to work with the BBC on David Attenborough’s Life of Mammals exhibition in the At-Bristol complex in January. Matt Olden of Jungulator said they had been asked to design the sound and light installation for the SoundSphere, an inflatable interactive hemisphere where visitors to the exhibition could immerse themselves in the acoustic world of nature.

Nick Markovits, Enterprise Manager at UWE, who is organising the competition, said: “The standard of entries this year is very high, and it is good to see entries coming in from a wide range of faculties.”


Editor’s notes

1. Examples of businesses of the future through to the next round of the competition:

Sustainable Wood – This project aims to establish a centre for sustainable woodworking and environmental education. It will convert a disused watermill into a number of workshops powered through water-power - a combination of direct-drive and hydro-electric – leased to designer-makers to produce a truly sustainable product.

PROMISE - a project management software tool that can optimise information flows and manage design iterations, with potential savings of over 50% in terms of resources or project timescales.

Students’ Art Forum - A concept aiming to develop and support artists in their early career. A web-based catalogue that offers students a forum on which to sell their creative products and handles their business management for them.

2. Finalists had an opportunity to find out more about the expert advice that these mentors could offer at a ‘Meet the Sponsors’ event. In all twenty individuals, in eleven teams, have successfully made it through to the second round. Four of these teams are made up of students and seven consist of staff members. Teams are multi-disciplinary, with members from the Bristol Business School and the Faculties of Science, Law, Education, Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences, and Built Environment.

3. JPEG image of some of the successful entrepreneurs of the future meeting the sponsors available upon request from the Press Office.

Back to top