COLEG CAMBRIA students held the keys to success in a popular business competition.

Learners from the college's Yale Sixth centre have been awarded top prize in the first-ever 'Lock-In' event at the Business Wales Wrexham Enterprise Hub.

The students were joined by Cambria alumnus and filmmaker Rob Corcoran, from 73 Degree Media, for the 24-hour challenge to mark Global Entrepreneurship Week. The free event held in collaboration with Big Ideas Wales, was for 16-24-year-olds and took place across November 23-24.

During the event, teams of four were given 24 hours to sketch out a viable business concept, draw the business plan, and then present it to the panel of judges. Every hour between 10am and 7pm, groups were given expert advice on topics ranging from developing business plans to managing social media strategy and pitching.

The winning quartet was Team Pop-In – which consisted of Rob Corcoran, Jess Downwood, Phoebe Jones and Adrian Olszewski – looked at innovative ways of using technology and social media to bring people together in Wrexham High Street. The idea made particular use of empty buildings – a problem known to frustrate local people.

Carl Turner, Community Manager at Town Square, said: "We're really proud of the ideas the talented teams came up with to bring Wrexham High Street together. Providing an environment that fosters new business is at the very heart of what we do at the Hub, so events such as this are a great way to engage younger people.

“Getting them thinking about how to use enterprise to solve local problems, helps instil an entrepreneurial spirit and an economically-active mindset that will follow them well into later life.”

He added: “Team Pop-In came up with a fantastic idea, a platform that lets local people know when spaces are free so that empty buildings can have life breathed into them again.

“The teams came up with a measure that tackles a local problem, had an achievable mission and a clear route to market. We couldn't be prouder of them or the other individuals who took part.”

The young innovators were rewarded with the evening's top prize, an iPad, courtesy of event-partners Chetwood Financial.

Chetwood Financial CEO Andy Mielczarek said: “As a local business, we’re really passionate about supporting young people to develop their skills and learn more about the world of business.

“The quality of their work shows the wealth of ideas and skills in Wrexham and hints at a bright future for technological innovation in the area. We’re sure this generation of talent will only continue to grow from strength to strength.”

Rona Griffiths, Deputy Director of Learner Experience and Enterprise at Coleg Cambria, said: "We were thrilled to have 11 Cambria students involved in the contest, which was of a very high standard.

"All of the teams produced interesting and innovative ideas, but we are obviously pleased to see Cambria among the winners. Their idea not only made business sense it looked at community and the best ways of using empty and dilapidated space to breathe life into the town centre – well done again."

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