Posted Monday 4 March 2013
Teams of young entrepreneurs from Kingston University saw off the competition to scoop an amazing 19 cash prizes at the recent Westfocus Bright Ideas competition.
Open to students from seven universities across London, entries to this competition can range from social enterprises and business ideas to campaigns and products. Award-winning talent came from all corners of Kingston including students from nursing, design, engineering, music and business.
Easthetic Design (pictured right) was one of the teams to secure a £1,000 prize for the Pozzy - a reusable carrier to hold flowers. Members of the five-strong team are all postgraduates studying on the MA creative economy course which they combine with a specialist area, such as music or advertising. Easthetic Design product designer Darongklod Somton said he came up with the idea when out shopping. "My girlfriend loves flowers and likes to have fresh ones in our flat," he said. "We visit Columbia Road Flower Market in East London every month but I've always got my hands full with coffee or my phone, so I came up with this hands-free tote perfectly shaped for the blooms."
Team leader Shruti Barton said Easthetic tested out several different designs before settling on the conical-shaped one for the Pozzy. "Plastic flower bags aren't very sustainable and paper can be too thin," she said. "We're already speaking to florists and gift shops. We really enjoyed taking part in the trade fair at Kingston University where we met potential customers, talked about our ideas and, most importantly, sold a few. We won the best company award on the night too and are already looking forward to taking our products out to the public at the Kingston Market Square Trade Fair later this month on March 21."
Another product picking up a prize was Jabels - reusable labels for jars and boxes. Finance director for team Blue Glimpse Sean Hearson said the inspiration for the design had come from trying to keep on top of what was in his fridge and keep it from being ‘borrowed' by flatmates. "It's hard to keep track of when you open food sometimes, so I wanted to create a solution to a problem faced by anyone sharing a house or flat," he said. "Plus, you can keep re-writing on the Jabels so they can be used again and again."
Head of enterprise education at Kingston University Martha Mador said the students' success was a testament to the support available across the University. "We encourage our students to enter these types of competition because it gives them an excellent opportunity to test out their ideas, get feedback from potential customers and also build up their contacts for the future," she said.
Kingston University ranks number one in the United Kingdom for the number of graduate start-up companies and clocked up some 179 in 2010/11.
Pictured below: Team 42 won £250 at the Bright Ideas competition for their chalkboard place mat for children - the Tabli.