Bangor’s Santander Entrepreneurs
Product Design student Tom Purnell and postgraduate Consumer Psychology student Will Osborn have won the Bangor University round of the Santander Entrepreneurship Awards and will be representing the University at the UK round later this year.
They were among the competing students who pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges including the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor John G. Hughes recently. Having been tasked by the B-Enterprising team in the Careers & Employability Service to come up with an innovative business idea, the pitches covered a wide range of products and subjects.
Following seven undergraduate and four postgraduate presentations, the judges awarded top prizes of £200 to the best undergraduate and postgraduate students.
In announcing Tom Purnell as undergraduate winner, Vice Chancellor Professor John G. Hughes said that the judges had been impressed by the outstanding idea, expert design and Tom’s extensive knowledge of the market and its potential.
Will Osborne, studying a Master’s degree said that winning the competition was a really good feeling. He said: “It shows that my idea is a good one, that all the work I’ve put in was worth it and that hopefully my product will have a bright future. The prize money will be spent on developing the product. The next step is to prepare for the Final. The feedback received from the specialist in the Competition has been really helpful. The Competition is a great opportunity to get your ideas ‘out there’ and I’d recommend it to anyone.”
Awarding the prizes to the winning entries, Vice-Chancellor Professor John G. Hughes said, “All the judges were impressed by the ideas and enthusiasm shown by the competition entrants. The quality of some of the business ideas was excellent; there are some strong potential commercial products in development. My intention is to make Bangor University one of the leading institutions in the country for innovation and entrepreneurship. I’d encourage all the entrants to seek further support from the University to develop their entrepreneurial ideas.”
The judging panel comprised of Professor John G. Hughes, Vice-Chancellor; Chris Drew, Deputy Director Strategic Alliance Office; Dr Andy Goodman, Design Director of Pontio and Chris Walker, Director of People Systems International.
Tom Purnell’s experience of using a swim rescue aid while working as an RNLI lifeguard was the inspiration for his final year Product Design degree project at the University’s School of Education.
Tom, who is 21 and comes from Cardigan, redesigned the swim rescue aid having had experience of its use.
His prototype is nearing completion and Tom is keen to develop the product further. He says “ Having worked on product design for around eight months- as part of my degree course placement and then over the summer months, I think it’s an interesting job, but I’d like to get involved in all the processes to taking a product through to market and I’m interested in taking this product to market.
“One important thing I’ve learnt from the Competition is the importance of confidentiality and safeguarding your ideas.”
The Final Round of the Santander Enterpreneurship Competition takes place at the Royal Opera House in London on 17th July.
Publication date: 8 May 2012