SOUTH WEST UNIVERSITIES IN BUSINESS PLAN PRIZE BATTLE

Issue date: 03 November 2004


ISSUE DATE: 03/11/04

Last night the Universities of Bath, Bristol and the West of England battled it out in a contest to decide which award-winning business plan from their students and staff most deserves the title of Winner of Winners 2004.

Each year students and staff from the three universities have been eligible to enter their bright ideas for future businesses in individual competitions. Now, for the first time, six prize-winning teams competed for the top title at the Winner of Winners event on 2 November, hosted by one of the event’s sponsors, Airbus.

The six teams’ ideas ranged from Kiwi Assurance’s plan for virtual key cutting to Warm Body’s innovative approach to assessing couples’ fertility. The judging panel, including main sponsors Business Incubation South West (BISW), South West Angels Investor Network (SWAIN) and Sulis Seedcorn Fund, awarded the £5,000 prize to the LISTech project for their innovative technology for forming metal structures.

Alan Jocelyn, leader of the winning team from the University of the West of England, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our plan has received this prize. The award will help us to take our plans forward.”

The Winner of Winners competition was organised by the consortium of universities to celebrate the enterprise activities they undertake in the region, and to build on collaboration between them.

“All three Universities have been running successful Business Plan competitions for four or five years now, offering cash prizes and valuable advice for entrants on how to build a marketable business plan,” said Ed Preedy, of sponsors Business Incubation South West.

He continued: “We are delighted to support this Winner of Winners event which shows the importance of nurturing these enterprising ideas at a regional level and we encourage those with bright ideas to come forward for the next round of individual competitions.”

Each of the universities is due to launch their individual competitions for 2005, which are open to staff and students, in mid November.

-ENDS-


Contact
Lacia Ashman, University of Bristol
Tel: 0117 928 8644, E-mail: Lacia.ashman@bris.ac.uk

Editor’s notes

Candidates for Winner of Winners Competition 2004:

Global Risk Management
Rob Dover and Anthony Forster (University of Bristol)

The aim is to provide well-informed reassurance, information and coping strategies to businesses, NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and individuals operating in an increasingly uncertain world. Clients will be able to take personal and business risks with greater certainty and precision, and to solve problems that fall outside the scope of their existing resources.

Kiwi Assurance
Nick Smith and Stephen Mayers (University of Bath)

Kiwi Assurance is a service organisation delivering peace of mind through the ability to cut any key from a pre-stored image and deliver it to the customer’s location within one hour. The unique system of operation permits the central storage of key images in virtual form through innovative processes, systems, and technologies. The images can be sent to a local machine to cut the keys to order, so negating the requirement for physical storage of the customer’s key.

Laser Induced Superplasticity Technology (LIS Tech)
Lead entrant: Alan Jocelyn (University of the West of England)

LIS Tech enables the manufacture of exceptionally light, strong, corrosion resistant and complex structures from metal alloys, using superplastic forming and diffusion bonding (SPF/DB). SPF provides extraordinary ductility to many metals allowing complex shapes to be produced, whilst DB joins components, without using fasteners, welding or adhesives, but with strengths similar to the parent material. The process uses lasers for cutting, welding, surface preparation, drilling and 'laser induced superplasticity', combined with diffusion bonding. It is hoped that the equipment will be used by manufacturing industries world-wide, aerospace being the most likely to embrace the new technology first.

PhoenixNET
Bruce Griffin (University of the West of England)

PhoenixNET is a pioneering software solution that uses artificial intelligence to automate employee rostering in medium and large organisations that operate complex shift patterns such as the NHS. PhoenixNET removes the need for laborious manual rostering by allowing employees to enter shift requirements, rules and preferences via the internet. These factors are taken into account to consistently produce accurate and feasible rosters, allowing managers to devote their time to leading their team.

S.R.K. Communication Ltd
Shashank Garg and Zhang Hai (University of Bath)

SRK Communication Ltd is a utility meter development company that applies advanced telecommunications technology to utility measurement. Initially, SRK will develop and supply electronic wireless meters (EWM) for the water utility industry of the UK and EU. EWM is an automatic meter reading system which includes additional features such as remote meter status checking, pollution control and remote payment transaction. This improved data management offers a saving of 20-30% in operational costs at no additional cost to water companies.

Warm body (personal female thermometry)
Andy Butterworth & Toby Knowles (University of Bristol)

Many couples have difficulty conceiving, and fertility patterns have changed as couples leave parenthood until later in life. A traditional approach has been to chart the small changes in temperature that occur around the time of ovulation. An innovative product, which evolves and updates this technique, has been developed, providing much more accurate prediction of the time of maximum fertility.

Sponsors
Business Incubation South West (BISW), South West Angels Investor Network (SWAIN), Airbus and Sulis Seedcorn Fund

Judges
Ed Preedy (BISW), Philip Tellwright (SWAIN), Roz Bird (UK Science Park Association) and local successful entrepreneurs Pete McCarthy, Dave Embleton and David Cornwell.

Jpeg visual of the winners available upon request from the Press Office.

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