On Friday 13 March over 140 students from the University of Reading showcased their enterprising ideas to a panel of local business professionals as part of the Entrepreneurship Exhibition held in the Blue Room, Park House on the Whiteknights campus.
Students from the flagship course Practice of Entrepreneurship have been working in teams to develop business ideas under six key themes: health, professional services, home automation, environment, climate, food technology. All of which are areas of expertise for the University. During the afternoon the teams showcased their ideas in an Entrepreneurship ‘trade show’, where they pitched ideas to 30 judges from business and academia. The judges included representatives of companies and individuals who had sponsored the event; Nick James an Entrepreneur, Chirag Bajaria from Microsoft, Charlotte Gribben from Deloitte and a School of Management alumna, Elisabeth Murray from Mathys & Squire Intellectual Property and Julian Thackray from Enterprise Rent-a-Car.
Additionally, first year students who have been tasked with developing, starting and running a campus-based enterprise as part of their Student Enterprise module, presented the results of their businesses, what they have achieved and the lessons they have learned.
The whole experience gave students a fantastic opportunity to showcase their creativity, gain critical feedback from experienced entrepreneurs and professionals. The event finished with networking for all of the students and guests promoting opportunities for collaboration.
Dr Shaheena Janjuha-Jivraj, Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, which is part of the Henley Business School at the University of Reading, said, ‘Whether students have a social or business idea in mind or simply want to add a new dimension to their degree by gaining practical entrepreneurial skills, the entrepreneurship programme we offer provides them with the knowledge and opportunity. Our innovative teaching programmes touch all corners of the campus and all levels of study. The students on these modules come from a very wide range of disciplines and levels, ranging from second year students to Masters students. So whether students study psychology or food science at undergraduate or postgraduate level they can take advantage of the University’s entrepreneurial training.’
Winners of the Nick James prize for Most Innovative idea were team “Sound Script” who’s idea was to provide sheet music digitally to make learning to play musiceasier. The winning team members were Victor Akeze, Stuart Leat, Kieran Lee, Daniel McCoach and Grant Simmonds.
Team member Victor Akeze said, ‘Winning the prize was just a part of the experience. The other part is the effort we collectively put into this project and the passion behind the idea. We are very optimistic of our future and Soundscript’s future’.
Winners of the Enterprise Rent-a-Car prize for Most viable business idea were team “Stop Can”, with the idea for a rubber can stopper designed to prevent a canned drink from fizzing and leaking. The winning team members were Jonathan Davies, Thomas King, Thomas Langley-Poole, James McIlwriath and Amie Williams.