Aston Idol brings out entrepreneurs

Aston Idol
Cherie Gregory & Lauren Everington

27th April, 2010

Aston University hosted their very own ‘Aston Idol’ last month; a premier business competition encouraging students to put forward their innovative business ideas with the chance of winning a cash prize.

The competition, held at the University, was split into four categories and open to students from all disciplines. Winners of each sub-category received a £200 cash prize with the overall winner receiving £500 from sponsors Ernst & Young.

Jennifer Schofield, a final year Aston Business School student, was awarded the Overall Winner of Aston Idol 2010. Her innovative ‘Diskreet Key’ invention, a small key-shaped USB device, allows users to securely save their data on a variety of different computers whilst remaining password encrypted. The idea is currently pending an international patent, with a full working prototype available.  

Amongst the other winners included a delivery fruit and vegetable service in the general business category, an electric bicycle in the low-carbon category and ‘Mocktails’, a non-alcoholic party-planning service in the social enterprise category.

Maureen Tibby, Head of the Careers & Employability Centre at the University and an Aston Idol judge, said, “This was a great event that really demonstrates the talent and calibre of the students we have here at Aston. We had some fantastic and original ideas and big congratulations to all of the winners. In the current economic climate, I think it is extremely important to support students with such events that encourage entrepreneurship."

The event, a joint venture between SIFE Aston, Aston Entrepreneurs and Aston Careers and Employability Centre, was sponsored and supported by Ernst & Young, National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship (NCGE), UnLtd, BSEEN, Birmingham Science Park Aston and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

See a short clip from the event and hear from the winners here.


Notes to editors:

  • Full winners details:
    - High Technology Category (sponsored by Birmingham Science Park Aston & Aston Entrepreneurs) – Jennifer Schofield.
    - General Business (sponsored by Aston University Careers & Employability Centre) – Cherie Gregory & Lauren Everington.
    - Low Carbon (sponsored by Enterprise Rent-a-car) - George Kitchen.
    - Social Enterprise (sponsored by UnLtd) - Kathryn Link.
    - Research Student Prize (sponsored by Aston University Centre for Staff Development) – Vimal Kumar Eswarlal & Jim Scott.
    - Overall winner of Aston Idol 2010 (sponsored by Ernst & Young) – Jennifer Schofield.

  • Judges details:
    - Catherine Foster – BSEEN
    - Maureen Tibby – Aston University Careers and Employability Centre
    - Matthew Hidderley – Birmingham Science Park Aston
    - Lauren Croll – UnLtd
    - Clare Banyon – Enterprise Rent-a-Car
    - Sarah Perrins & Sikinder Chaudhry – Ernst & Young 

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research