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Bangor two in Santander Entrepreneurship Competition

Bangor University is well represented in the penultimate round of the 2018 Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards taking place at Strathclyde University on 26th June.

Having been selected from undergraduate and graduate students competing at Bangor University recently, Tim Hunt and Joe Perkins are among 20 entrepreneurs to have made it through to the next round to pitch their ideas at the Regional Finals.

Two years since graduating with a degree in Computer Science and winning a national JISC Student Ideas competition for his incipient business idea, Joe Perkins’ Coursematch is a mobile platform which is helping students with the increasingly difficult choice of what degree course to pursue, as well as helping them connect with like-minded students across the country. Picking the wrong course, and not making social circles at University are two of the leading causes for student dropout, and Coursematch is aiming to tackle both of these. To date, Coursematch has been downloaded by 14,000 students nationwide, and they are now gearing up for an imminent re-release packed with a ton of new features.

Joe said:

“I am incredibly excited to be representing Bangor University at the semi finals of the Santander Universities competition. Coursematch has come a long way since I graduated in the Summer of 2016, we’ve significantly improved the product, raised investment from some of the country’s best angel investors, and started pulling together commercial relationships with Universities and brands.

I’d like to thank all of the staff in the Computer Science department for all of their input in obtaining my degree, and in particular Dave Perkins - who played a fantastic role in supporting me through my final year of studies”

Joe attended Queen Elizabeths School, Wimborne, Dorset, and lived in Wimborne Minster on the South Coast (close to Bournemouth).

Dr Iestyn Pierce, Head of School of Electronic Engineering and one of a team of academics across the University working to encourage entrepreneurship commented:

“It is great to hear that Joe Perkins has done so well in reaching the next round of this prestigious competition. This is further proof of the way that the university helps develop student entrepreneurship. My thanks go to all the university staff at the school and in the Careers and Employability Service who have helped Joe and his fellow students take their ideas to the next level.”

Tim Hunt, a final year Product Design student’s entry is based on his career as an outdoor activities instructor. A keen kayaker, Tim has taken up stand up paddle-boarding (SUP) and has also identified a product gap in the market. Tim’s expedition SUP has been designed to carry a up to 50 kilos- which he reckons would be enough for a week-long expedition. The design creates a trough in the hull so that the board’s balance is not compromised.

Twenty nine year old Tim of Cwm y Glo chose to study Product Design at Bangor University as it would give him an opportunity to develop outdoor sport equipment.

He says: “The course has provided me with an overview of the different elements of design and how to manage a product’s development, while the University’s location is second to none for its proximity to the mountains and the sea- and especially Anglesey’s unique sea environment.

Mr Aled Williams, Lecturer on the BSc Product Design course at Bangor, commented:

“We’re excited to see Tim’s innovative ideas grow into a market ready product. As a course, we work closely with industry and it’s encouraging for future degree students to see Tim take the design process and his manufacturing skills forward to deliver a new competitive product into a growing market. The Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Competition is a great opportunity for students to showcase their vision and take their capabilities into the commercial world.”

Tim hopes to develop his design, called Siwrnai (Welsh for journey), and will be looking for funding to create the mouldings for the board manufacture.

Publication date: 22 June 2018