Ten shortlisted student and graduate business owners attended a two-day event aimed at supporting their business ideas, which included the opportunity to pitch their proposals to a panel of judges. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the annual Venture Pitch celebration.
Judged by Mike Skinner, RTC North; Lynne Robertson, Santander; Hems de Winter, Hems de Winter Consulting; David Murphy, Forresters; Neuza Morais, Architect and Community Educator and Kevin Furlong, Senior Lecturer at the University of Chester, participants were asked to deliver a five-minute pitch outlining their business idea and model.
Three businesses were then awarded a share of £5,000 funding which was kindly awarded by Santander Universities UK. In addition, over £11,000 worth of business support prizes were also awarded during the event. The University would like to acknowledge the generous support and sponsorship offered by Forresters IP, the Riverside Innovation Centre and the West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce.
The Venture Programme equips students and graduates with the skills and knowledge to start up a business or build on their freelance career. It comprises nine modules which cover different aspects of starting up a business. These are entitled: Setting Up; Sales and Marketing; Business Responsibility; Finance and Funding; Enterprise Skills; Business Planning; Legal Matters; Online Marketing; and one-to-one business advice surgeries.
Accessible to students from all disciplines and levels of study, Venture consists of a unique blend of content from industry partners to support individuals at different stages of their entrepreneurial journey.
Students and graduates who had been involved in the Venture Programme over the year have the opportunity to apply.
The successful pitchers were:
- Shima Ami, a Business Management and Leadership student, who was awarded £2,200 for AR Inc, an advanced restructure management business utilising community assets for community benefit. Shima was also awarded one-to-one Marketing Consultancy, a professional logo design, a branded merchandise bundle and a start-up website.
- Eleanor Jones, a first year Business Management student, was awarded £3,000 for Yes Idol, a business that specialises in bringing K-Pop merchandise to the UK. Eleanor was also awarded a Social Media Coaching Programme, an iPad and support from the Santander Breakthrough Women Business Leaders’ Mentoring Programme.
- Jemima Antwi, an Accounting and Finance student, was awarded a £400 Careers and Employability Enterprise grant for Mimes Reusables, an online sustainable shop selling reusable products to consumers and small businesses. Jemima was also awarded a professional photography package, an iPad, flexible working space within the Riverside Innovation Centre, two hour Trade Mark consultancy and £200 fees covered, kindly sponsored by Forresters and support from the Santander Breakthrough Women Business Leaders’ Mentoring Programme.
- Elizabeth Edge, a Master’s in Clinical Counselling student, was awarded £1,000 for her business Counselling and Embodiment Therapy to help tackle the mental health crisis in the UK. Elizabeth was also awarded a professional logo design.
- Bhanuprashanth Karna, a Master’s in Engineering Management student, was awarded £800 for Maglev Stoves; a business which aims to bring magnetic levitation technology toinduction stoves. Bharuprashanth was also awarded one-to-one business coaching and a personal introduction to IP with Forresters.
The following awards were also made:
- Patrycjusz Szubryt, studying for a Doctorate in Business Administration, was awarded a 12-month membership to the WCNW Chamber of Commerce.
- Sara Bauker, a final year Bioveterinary Science student, was awarded a professional logo design for her business Pawfect Palace; a boarding centre for cats and dogs which focuses on maintaining animal welfare and providing a safe environment for pets.
- Tendai Tsanga, a Master’s in Mental Health Nursing student, was awarded one-to-one business coaching for his business idea Thrive Oyster, a mindful community project aiming to provide local markets and restaurants with a healthy product and empowering local communities to bridge the gap between farm to fork.
Amber Gaffoor, Entrepreneurship Co-ordinator within the Careers and Employability team, said
“The Venture Pitch 2022 showcased an outstanding amount of entrepreneurial spirit and talent across the University. It was incredibly enjoyable to be able to return to running the event in person and getting to know the students and graduates we have engaged with for the past two years online. Each individual showed true commitment and passion in pursuing their business ideas and I am honoured to have been part of their journey. I would like to thank our Venture partners and Santander Universities for their continued support.”