LASERS, BOARDERS AND DJS COMPETE FOR £20K PRIZE

Issue date: 14 January 2004


ISSUE DATE: 14/01/04

Staff and student finalists of the University of the West of England’s Business Plan Competition were a step closer to winning a prize fund valued at £20,000 today, as finalists met with the competition sponsors to gain real world advice from the experts in business planning.

15 plans were received in total from across faculties, eight of which were selected to go through as finalists. Shortlisted business ideas range from the creation of an environmentally friendly sustainable ‘Bristol Mountain Board Park’ to the setting up of a new UWE student radio station ‘The Hub 1449 AM’. Science/research based projects entered include 'LIS Tech' which plans to commercialise a novel laser superplasticity technique.

After discussing the projects with finalists, the sponsors ran a workshop focusing on the funding, financial and marketing aspects of business planning. Entrants now have until the 23 February to develop their ideas into full marketable business plans with mentoring from the sponsor group: Baker Tilly Chartered Accountants, Business West, ICON Corporate Finance, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Osborne Clarke, Solicitors and the University of the West of England.

Andrew Braithwaite, partner of Osborne Clarke Solicitors said "For us the competition can provide support to the very source of innovation - we advise businesses at all levels of the development cycle and it's good to make a difference by encouraging great new ideas, and great new entrepreneurs"

This year a new student prize category has been introduced to win a prize valued at £5,000, as well as the open prize fund valued at £15,000. The winner will be announced at a prizegiving evening in May when Juliet Williams, Chairman of the South West Regional Development Agency will present the prizes.

-ENDS-

Editor’s notes

1. UWE’s Business Plan Competition is run by the Centre for Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies. For more information contact Nick Markovits, Enterprise Manager, email: nick.markovits@uwe.ac.uk or tel: 0117 32 82763.
2. The full list of shortlisted projects is as follows:

OPUS – portable 3D imaging metrology devices
External Quality Assurance for the European Union – EQA programme for cancer diagnostic and predictive biomarkers
PhoenixNET – distributed internet application to facilitate automated roster timetabling
Bristol Mountain Board Park – environmentally friendly and sustainable mountain board park
Practice Law International –legal education project to enable users to access professional qualifications abroad
Laser Induced Superplasticity Technology (LIS Tech) – new technique for forming and diffusion bonding titanium, aluminium and nickel steel components
The Virtual Seen system – virtual technology for the next generation of department store changing rooms
The Hub 1449 AM – UWE student radio station

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