Student entrepreneurs have received a major boost for their business ideas in Swansea University’s annual Big Pitch competition, sponsored by Santander Universities.
Held in person for the first time in two years, the Big Pitch aims to help students learn valuable skills and bring their ideas to life.
19 student entrepreneurs pitched 14 different ideas to a panel of esteemed judges, who awarded over £10,500 to four start-ups.
All students received mentorship and four companies secured places in bespoke acceleration programs designed by the Company team in conjunction with national organizations.
The students each had a three-minute slot to present their ideas to the judges: Ben Reynolds, founder of the Urban Foundry and Wales’ first B-Corp; Nicholas Davies, responsible for relations with the universities of Santander; Lucy Griffiths, Director of the Swansea University Employability Academy; Kelly Jordan, Senior Enterprise Officer for the Enterprise Team and James Hughes, Managing Director of Vedra Partners.
Companies ranged from healthy acai smoothie bowls, patented cooking technology and custom design solutions for students, to plant and gift shops, student consultants and more.
Prior to their presentations, students attended workshops hosted by Swansea University’s Enterprise Team, based in Research, Engagement and Innovation Services (REIS), who offered advice on the development of their ideas and their effective presentation.
Dan Eedy, graduate student at the School of Management and founder of Kiwi, said: “The Big Pitch was a great opportunity to introduce my new start-up to an audience, something I’ve never done before.
“It was interesting to learn about a variety of other new companies through their presentations and the networking opportunity during the event.
“The funding that I gratefully received will be extremely beneficial for the purchase of essential equipment, which will allow my business to grow faster than expected.
“I look forward to serving tasty and healthy Smoothie Bowls in Swansea and beyond in the months to come.”
Kelly Jordan, Senior Enterprise Officer, said she was pleased to see the competition getting stronger: “After two challenging years for all businesses, we were again blown away by the quality and level of presentations and business models showcased at the Big Pitch.
“Each of the students who participated did Swansea University proud, with entries from all three faculties spanning all years of study.
“Our students prove that Swansea University is a truly entrepreneurial institution.”
Dr. Ben Reynolds, Big Pitch judge and founder of Urban Foundry, said: “I really enjoyed being a judge for the Big Pitch again. There were great pitches and a lot of talent on display!
(Main image: Swansea University)