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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-upJames 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-upIlinca Georgescu (Architecture) for ‘Moo – the creative mood board software’Ioana Tamas (Architecture) and Roxana Botezatu for ‘ArtRising’
Postgraduate CommendationsMartina Peckelova (Arts) for ‘Creatives Fair’Anna Palmer (Hospitality Management) for ‘L’Hub’