On Friday the 22nd of May 2015, Plymouth University Business School students pitched their business ideas to the BETA Enterprise Programme Panel for a grant of up to £1500 to support their businesses’ development.
The BETA Enterprise Programme is run by Sarah Preedy and I at Plymouth University’s Futures Entrepreneurship Centre and is designed to provide enterprising students with business ideas with pre start-up and start up support. The BETA Programme provides free of charge: business advice, access to business mentors, entrepreneurial guest speakers and complimentary development workshops to all Plymouth University students as well as the opportunity for UK Plymouth Business School students to pitch for grant funding up to £1500. Grant funding to students from other faculties is dependent on support from their faculty.
These students have been developing their ideas with the BETA Enterprise Programme since November 2014. The BETA Enterprise Programme has aided their business idea development, by providing the students with free advice, free and regular access to local business mentors and lectures led by entrepreneurial guest speakers. These speakers included Dr Nicola Donovan with her six month old business The Artful Chocolatier, Social Media expert Jayne Hardy from the Blurt Foundation, Rich Adams from GAIN and Heather Forster from Crowdfunder. The BETA Enterprise Programme also provided supplementary development workshops over the past eight months of the programme that aided students with pitching confidence; taught them about Social Media, patenting and intellectual property, developed their leadership skills and guided them in developing their entrepreneurial resilience.
Many students, like Lucy Cova pictured pitching to the BETA panel above, benefited greatly from the help, support and encouragement provided by their mentors.
Who was on the panel? The BETA Enterprise Pitching Panel consisted of Doctoral Teaching Assistant Sarah Preedy; Futures Entrepreneurship Centre manager Sarah Stevenson joined by Entrepreneurs in Residence Gareth Hart and Raphael Dennett. Also on the BETA Pitching Panel was Adam Stone from Rokk Media provided expert advice and diverse industry experience to the judging panel.
This was a doubly valuable opportunity for students who pitched because they could benefit from the combined knowledge and advice of the panel members. Students went away with information and contacts that could potentially make all the difference to the success of their young business.
Four business ideas were granted the £1500 BETA Enterprise funding in May 2015. Six other students were given feedback on their business plans and offered the opportunity to re-pitch their plans to the BETA Panel in July 2015.
The BETA Panel judges were impressed with the diverse range of ideas. The result was these student’s business ideas successfully being awarded the funding grants; Feyi Ogenyeye and his sustainable technology idea, Lucy Rodrigues-Cova and her kind on the skin cosmetic spray, James Roberts and Tom Parker with DYFRNT for mystery nights out and Sam Bray with his Golf package tours business. The BETA Enterprise team looks forward to seeing the great things they go on to achieve.