Past awards

  • Winners of the Oxford Brookes Student Business Plan Competition

  • Finalists and judges

    Business plan competition 2017 winners announced

     

    Finalists in the Brookes Business Plan Competition 2017 gathered together for the annual awards ceremony recently, to celebrate their successes and congratulate the winners, who together shared £4,000 in prize money. The finale was the prize-winners’ showcase, an opportunity for each winner to present a 30 second elevator pitch summarizing their ideas, and highlighting the range of innovative talent in the room.

    The event follows months of preparation by the entrants, including attending workshops, idea generation and finally producing well-researched business plans to clarify their proposals. The entries were evaluated based on the originality of the idea, the analysis of the market and competition, the operational delivery and management plans and the projected financial performance.  The judges, who were on hand at the awards celebration to offer advice and feedback to the finalists, included Claire Lawrey of Grant Thornton UK LLP, Santander’s Simon Poulter, and Olympic Gold Medallist and Director of Foster Development Ltd, Tim Foster, MBE.

    Tim commented, “The ideas were imaginative and the proposals were very well described which gave the judges an interesting challenge. Above all, the passion and the drive behind the business plans really came through.

    He added, “Some of you will receive prizes and some will not. Do not let this be the end of the journey for any of you. There are some really exciting businesses in this room. You should take your passion and your business plans and use this learning experience to enhance your ideas, and break out into the business world.”

    The winning ideas included online-ordering for celebration cupcakes, a bicycle parking design consultancy, an app-based parts tracker for independent garages and an opportunity for sports stadiums to enhance their customer comfort and experience.

    Brookes’ Pro Vice Chancellor for Student Experience, Professor Julie McLeod was delighted to present the prizes, she commented: “Brookes takes enterprise and enterprising creativity very seriously. It’s a core attribute for our graduates and it’s fascinating to see these innovative ideas come to life. We hope this journey has helped identify and shape the entrepreneur within you.”

    Now in its seventh year, the University’s business plan competition is organised by the Research and Business Development team as an action-learning element of its Bite Into Entrepreneurship programme. The programme runs throughout the year and together with the Business Plan Clinic offers a firm foundation in entrepreneurial skills, with one-to-one mentoring alongside. This helps participants develop real-world business skills and understand how to bring their ideas to fruition, but also helps prepare graduates for life beyond university.

    Undergraduate Category

    Business Plan winners - LiveX

    Above L-R: LiveX team mates, Sergiu Orzac, Ainhoa Begiristain Arrondo and Rithvik Dhananjay Reddy with Pro Vice Chancellor for Student Experience, Professor Julie McLeod.

    We’re engineers, we usually come up with ideas to solve problems, but I think we learnt how to implement those ideas in a profitable manner, as well as learning about business finance. We didn’t expect to win, but we are talking to the business development manager here at Brookes and hope to take the plan forward. Winning this competition gives us greater confidence in the idea, as this has been considered by industry experts.

    Ainhoa Begiristain

    Winner: LiveX, £1,000.

    Ainhoa Begiristain Arrondo (Motorsport Engineering) with Sergiu Orzac and Rithvik Dhananjay Reddy

    Attendance at sporting stadiums is decreasing owing to high quality coverage and cost-effective, widely available internet viewing options. However, fans and the sport itself loses some of the atmosphere and energy when watched from home. This team conducted an online survey with over 80 respondents, to find out what would bring people back to the stadiums.

    Feedback showed that the majority found viewing from home to be more comfortable and avoided the queues for refreshments in the stadium. Missing the live replays, commentary and statistics was also an issue.

    The LiveX solution is a handheld device that sports fans hire on entering a stadium. The device offers statistics and live commentary, but also allows visitors to order food and drinks from their seat. The device would be based on a portable tablet supplemented with bespoke software.  LiveX would be available for hire with a stadium ticket purchase for a token fee.

    The business strategy is to target the stadiums as the client, rather than the end user. The business plan involved working with the sporting team and their partners including betting and mechandising partners, for example.

    Business Plan winners - Cupcake

    Above L-R:  Rachel Eyre with with Pro Vice Chancellor for Student Experience, Professor Julie McLeod

    Runner-up: The Cupcake Courier, £500

    Rachel Eyre (International Business Management)

    At age 16 Rachel ran her own cupcake company, making cakes for weddings and celebrations. She is now looking to extend that idea and bring it into the digital world. Her idea is an online cupcake bakery for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day or birthdays or Mother’s Day, with personalised gift boxes, that are ordered online and delivered directly to the door of the recipient.

    To start with I had a bit of brain block, and I couldn’t think of an idea, but then I just thought, stick to what you know, which is cakes – and obviously, I did pretty well with it and so I’m really pleased!

    Rachel Eyre

    Business Plan winners - PocketAuto

    Above L-R: William Carlsson, Fred Whittaker and Everett Diamond with Pro Vice Chancellor for Student Experience, Professor Julie McLeod

    Winning hasn’t really sunk in yet. I think our immediate aim is to finish our degrees this summer and take it from there. Is a bonus for us, it’s like a final boost!

    Everett Diamond

    Winner: PocketAuto, £1,000

    Everett Diamond (Motorsport Engineering) with Fred Whittaker and William Carlsson

    PocketAuto is an app targeted at the independent car repair garages in the UK, who handle a broad customer base which brings in a diverse range of car makes and models for repair. Whilst branded, franchised dealerships have systems to track parts around the world, independent garages are less likely to have such sophisticated systems. The PocketAuto app gives garages a system to track their parts and inventory internally, for efficiency, and also to reference repairs quickly. The business model is a monthly subscription based usage, with a client base of 3-6,000 independent garages. The Big Data could also be aggregated, analysed and then sold on as statistical reports to manufacturers.

    POSTGRADUATE CATEGORY

    Business Plan winners -  Turvec solutions

    Above L-R: Rupert Harvey-Scholes, Alumnus in International Business Management, and George Hosegood, Alumnus in Law, talking with Brookes’ Programme Lead in Business & Management, Ross Jordan.

    Runner-up: Turvec Solutions, £500

    Rupert Harvey-Scholes (Alumnus in International Business Management) and George Hosegood (Alumnus in Law)

    Turvec Solutions is a start up already operating for one year which designs and installs bicycle parking facilities for businesses, for example, on behalf of a property developer building a block of flats in London. Where planners require that bicycle parking is provided Turvec Solutions helps the developer fit the bicycle parking into the smallest space possible.

    “This month we’ve taken on a digital marketing agency, so it’s handy that this month we will have a contribution towards that marketing budget, as we won’t be seeing any returns on that campaign as yet,” commented George.

    Rupert added, “We’re delighted to win. We met at Brookes in our first year and we started a business, an events company, while we were studying here. It was called Black Tie Brookes and ran events at Oxford Castle and the Randolph Hotel for example. We sold that company when we left Oxford and it’s still running now.

    “We’re now looking forward to working with Tim Foster and entering the Santander Business Competition.”

    Business Plan winners - OxTute

    Above L-R: Jasmine Theilgaard with Pro Vice Chancellor for Student Experience, Professor Julie McLeod

    Runner up: OxTute, £500

    Jasmine Theilgaard (Law)

    OxTut is a tutoring agency based in Oxford and London. It is different to other agencies in two ways. Firstly, it employs people who have graduated from Oxford University, and second it charges a much lower fee than other tutoring agencies. The plan is also to develop international links with a widespread network of tutors, for example with tutoring agencies in Hong Kong.

    Business Plan winners - BG Car Ads

    Above L-R: David Hartley, Commercial and Knowledge Exchange Director in the Research and Business Development Office at Brookes, gives feedback to runner up Nigel Marowa

    Runner up: BG Car Ads, £500

    Nigel Marowa (Project Management in the Built Environment)

    This business plan centres around an advertising agency that focuses on outdoor marketing on cars. Car owners sign up to a platform and the agency pays a fee to the car owner on a weekly basis to place an advertising sticker on the car. An app then tracks movement and the client is made aware of the journeys made and the exposure for the product in a particular region.

    Business Plan Competition Finalists 2016

    Sustainable food packaging solutions, heated windscreen technology, 3D printing of components for motorsport, a messaging app with emotion, online competitive video gaming, software to save designers time, a virtual job fair, a new hotel management business, design workshops for children and novel marketing of food supplements; these are just some of the ideas behind the business plans entered into the Oxford Brookes University Business Plan Competition 2016.

    The wide range of well-presented business plans from across the faculties and from a mix of undergraduates and postgraduates made interesting reading for the judges of this year’s competition. To select the short-list of finalists, all the entries were evaluated against a set of criteria which included the originality of the idea, the analysis of the market and the competition, the operational, delivery and management plans, and the projected financial performance.

    Now in its sixth year, the University’s business plan competition is open to all Brookes undergraduates, postgraduates and recent alumni and offers two prizes of £1,000 and four runner-up prizes of £500.

    Finalists received their prizes from Professor Julie McLeod, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Student Experience, in an awards ceremony held on Wednesday 2nd March in the John Henry Brookes Building. Alumnus and entrepreneur, Josh Shires, came back to share his experience of setting up and running his start-up business, Mous, which sells a new design of iPhone case with headphones.

     “We have been delighted to review the range of innovative ideas and well-researched business plans submitted for this year’s Business Plan Competition.  Some of the entrants had participated in our Bite into Entrepreneurship sessions earlier in the year, or in our Business Plan Clinic which provided one-to-one guidance to improve business plans”, said David Hartley, Commercial & Knowledge Exchange Director in the Research & Business Development Office which runs the competition and organised the skills workshops.

    This year’s winners were:
    Undergraduate Category Winner: Rosie Barge for ‘EcoFoldBox’
    Rosie, who is studying Hospitality Management, impressed the judges with her innovative and sustainable solution for pizza packaging with its unique folding design.

    Postgraduate category winner: Peter West and his team for 'Prevision Glass'
    A group of professional engineers, Peter West, Gerardo Benhumea, Matteo Moretti, Christopher Mudd and Stuart Burrows who are studying mechanical engineering, have developed ‘Prevision Glass’, an innovative heated windscreen which they plan to supply to new car manufacturers.

    As the category winners, both Rosie and Peter West’s team won a prize of £1,000 and are being provided with mentoring by the Research and Business Development Office to prepare them to represent the University in the national 2016 Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards in which around 80 U.K. institutions take part, and for which the finalists will be announced at the end of June.

    The full list of other finalists was:
    Undergraduate Runners-up
    James Foard (Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences) with James Fewkes, Oisin Scolard, Jamie Miller, Marc Brunner and Kevin Haith for ‘Rapid Design Solutions’
    Holger Kaus (Business) for ‘Emotionger’

    Undergraduate Commendations 
    Kate Nightingale (Business Management and Psychology) for ‘Sakura Supplements’
    Harry Roter (Business) for ‘Patch Gaming’

    Postgraduate Runners-up
    Ilinca Georgescu (Architecture) for ‘Moo – the creative mood board software’
    Ioana Tamas (Architecture) and Roxana Botezatu for ‘ArtRising’

    Postgraduate Commendations
    Martina Peckelova (Arts) for ‘Creatives Fair’
    Anna Palmer (Hospitality Management) for ‘L’Hub’

    • Winner: Lily Barr for My Neighbour's House
    • Runner-up: Alun Bonello with Hilary Smith and Ben Wilkins for Fluid Motion
    • Runner-up: Holly Ashdown for Cheddar: The Gourmet Grilled Cheese Company
    • Special Commendations also went to: Jamie Smith for Arc of Sound Headphones and Alexander Budd for Interns Global

    Postgraduate

    • Winner: Vladimir Krymskiy and Vladislav Perunov for Inecsys
    • Runner-up: Felix Jenkins with Sam Cowlen, Jack Sander and Rory Hitchen for PowerHub Industries
    • Runner-up: Mark Randolph and Syed Rizvi forSpirit Guide
      Special Commendations also went to: Aya Kasai for CARU | Contemporary Arts Research Unit and Pradeep Singh for Sociler 

    Undergraduate

    • Winner: Carrie Crabes for Check Venues
    • Runner-up: Anthony Fossaluzza and Lynton Sutton for Carousel Vodka
    • Runner-up: Daniel GilroyandHarsh Shah for Localiser
    • Runner-up: Stephanie ReedwithNiten ThakorSophia Althammer and Megan Morrisfor So Vain Publishing House

    Special Commendations also went to: Rosie Burr for Controversial Chocolates and Amelia Harrison for Flowing Locks

    Postgraduate

    • Winner: Chaitali Basu for Flexi Taxi
    • Runner-up: Henry Ward for Skycadia.com

    Undergraduate

    • Winner: Sammie Ball for Luggage Laughs
    • Runner-up: Mohanaraja Krishnasamy for Tajmahal Jewellery
    • Runner-up: George Pedrick for Zac Lance Clothing
    • Runner-up: Siddarth Sheyte for Aero-Technik

    Postgraduate

    • Winner: Mohammed Jakamy for Quality and Casual Apple IOS Games Factory with team members Hristo Gopin and Alishba Hassan Jan

    Undergraduate

    • Winner: Brad Cox for Mobile Device Case
    • Runner-up: Amandeep Singh Bansal for Car Wash

    Brad Cox

    Vice-Chancellor Professor Janet Beer presents Brad Cox with the Undergraduate Student Business Plan 2012 award

    Postgraduate

    • Joint Winner: Akina Egawa for Oxford Brookes Racing
    • Runner-up: Ting Ting Wang for My Lonely Story
    Business plan competition - winner 2012 - PG

    Akina Egawa's team were the Postgraduate Student Business Plan 2012 joint-winners.

    Undergraduate

    • Winner: The team of Sam Lutostanski, Amy Dawson, Claire Ratnam, Kirsty Turnbull, Sarah Dayus, Stafford Cragg for myforgetmenot.co.uk
    • Runner-up: Charmaine Daley for Cycle Tours Oxford
    • Runner-up: Matthew Puddy for Uwave.co.uk

    Postgraduate

    • Winner: Timothy Prince for tinymiles.co.uk
    • Runner-up: The team of Viktorija Pasko, Kalif Ismail, Symen de Waard, Bintu Mahele
    • Runner-up: Simona Nita for Business Academy