The 6th WestFocus Bright Ideas Competition attracted more entries than ever before. Students from across the WestFocus consortium submitted 175 entries of which 78 were from Kingston. Some students entered in teams, bringing the total number involved to 275 (176 were Kingston University students).
Ideas were varied in origin and style, including social enterprises, enterprise projects, and products and services with commercial targets. Online software solutions were popular; other examples included a vital aid for health care providers in the prevention of deep vein thrombosis and a social enterprise responds to the need to supplement London's consumption patterns with fruit and vegetables that are produced locally by utilising the vertical spaces in the city.
The Final Event took place on 23 February at the historic Regent's Campus of the University of Westminster.
Robert Parrington, An experienced entrepreneur with understanding of the internal needs of a business, and proven ability in identifying market development opportunities about the importance of perseverance, his belief in student ideas and this ability to form a successful enterprise, even during an economic down turn.
Naomi Jane: Founder of The 4WD Foundation which aims to see young people become more self-aware and positive about their own lives and previous Bright Ideas Winner, talked about what entrepreneurship means to her, her struggles and successes and the importance of learning from mistakes.
Stephen Hughes, Director of Research and Business Development at Roehampton University, spoke on behalf of the judges. Stephen discussed what he saw as the hallmarks of a successful idea: intellectual property, a clear description of the target market and the problem to be solved, and workable ideas for how to implement the idea.
Martha Mador: Leads the WestFocus Entrepreneurship Centre, spoke about the importance of failure in the entrepreneurial process. Most successful entrepreneurs had failures and identify the lessons they learned from these were critical to their subsequent success. To those who did not win a prize in this round of Bright Ideas, Martha's advice was to keep working on the ideas, and looking for opportunities.
WestFocus cash prizes: 6 prizes of £1,000, and 16 prizes of £250
Healthcare: a prize of £1,000 for the best idea in Healthcare.
Following the speeches and prize giving, students, staff and guests had the opportunity to network over refreshments.
We would like to thank everyone who entered the competition, with congratulations to the winners and commiserations to those who did not win - this time.
Finally, we wish to thank first and second round judges who gave their time and careful consideration to all of the ideas presented. Each entry was scrutinised twice, then a short list was drawn up. Short listed entries were then scrutinised by two further judges. The final judges spent 3 hours considering the relative merits of the short listed entries. Their help has been invaluable.
Anyone who is still at a WestFocus university next year should start planning for the next competition, which will launch in September 2011.
For more information, please contact:
WestFocus Entrepreneurship Centre
(020) 8547 417 3050