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The University of Southampton
Southampton Business School

Business School Apprentice Challenge Success For Our Students

Published: 23 November 2016

Six Business School students who were shortlisted for our Business School Apprentice Challenge presented to Renold Tang, successful Entrepreneur, Southampton Alumnus and Business Clinic advisor in an event on Wednesday this week. Renold very generously sponsored this prize.

Five undergraduates and one postgraduate student were selected to present having submitted a 500-word summary of their business start-up idea.

The evening started with some words of advice from Renold, his key messages were that, although many of them had not been at university long, any questions or comments he had would be honest and designed to make them think about the implementation of their idea.

Students who presented were; Akshay Vaidya (MSc Risk Finance), Liam Power (1st year Business Management), Patrick Richardson (BSc Management), Ivan Ivanov (2nd year Business Philosophy), Jessica Hamilton (1st year Business Management) and Lucy Wilson (1st year Accounting and Finance). As you can see from this list, the majority of them are in their first year, so to present in this format was especially challenging owing to the fact they have only been at university a short time.

Their ideas included; a service to connect charities with skilled volunteers, a house mate finding app, an app to connect older people to help them avoid loneliness and depression, a social restaurant concept, an event planning application and a recipe app.

Each student had only 2 minutes to pitch their idea to a panel which included Renold Tang along with two of our Business School academics; Dr Vadim Grinevich and Dr David Baxter. Following each pitch, students were asked a series of questions from the panel to challenge them to think a little deeper about how realistic their ideas were.

Students pitching their business ideas
Students pitching their business ideas

Students pitching their business ideas photograph, from left to right: Lucy Wilson, Liam Power, Patrick Richardson, Akshay Vaidya, Jessica Hamilton and Ivan Ivanov.

Lucy Wilson, one of the finalists said; “The evening proved a valuable experience as it gave me an insight into some of the challenges faced when presenting in the buisness world. The panel asked some tough questions but I enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone and receiving feedback that I can hopefully utilise in the future”

The clear themes in feedback were; knowing where initial capital would come from, ensuring they had researched before formulating their ideas, ensuring technological support and maintaining it, taking their ideas to market, thinking beyond their own perception of the world and establishing the difference between innovating and creating obstacles.

Students pitching
Students pitching

The overall winner was Patrick Richardson claiming the top prize of a 2 night stay in Renold’s luxury hotel Stapleford Park for his idea ‘Minerva’ an app for older people. Patrick told us about his idea saying his Grandmother had been the main inspiration.

This event featured as part of Global Entrepreneurship week where students have had the chance to sharpen their business minds with events being held all week on campus involving university societies and external speakers.

Thank you to all who attended our student entrepreneurship competition to hear our finalists pitch their business ideas to Renold Tang.

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