Aston hosted the final of its annual entrepreneurial competition “Aston Idol” on 29 February. The competition is in its third year and this year’s final was held at Birmingham Science Park Aston, in front of a panel of judges and a live audience.
Aston Idol is a business competition which encourages students to put forward their innovative business ideas and gives them the chance to win a cash prize to put towards their business venture. 16 business ideas made it through to the pitching round, and the best five presented at the Final.
First prize was won by students James Hallam and Alex Scott for their idea “My Student Market”, a business which allows Aston students to buy and sell items via a safe website. James Lupton and Nathan Kainth were awarded 2nd prize for their idea “Aston Fruit and Veg”, a fruit and vegetable delivery service to Aston students and staff. Other entries included “Blue Lady Cocktail”, a travelling cocktail service, Dreamchaser Life, a smart phone app to improve your levels of happiness and “Colours Of The Future”, an idea which focused on overseas volunteering opportunities for students.
First prize was £500 cash, sponsored by Ernst and Young and a £500 market research support package sponsored by Marketest. Second prize was £400 cash sponsored by BSEEN and Aston Students’ Guild.
The judging panel consisted of representatives from Ernst and Young, BSEEN, Aston Students’ Guild, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and UnLtd, who were all sponsors of the competition.
After the pitches were complete, students and the audience listened to guest speaker and Aston Business and Management graduate, Simon McCann. Simon is the Founder of Voltee, a social enterprise with the aim of matching charities with skilled volunteers from around the world, who cannot volunteer in the "usual" way. He talked about his focus on entrepreneurship during his time at Aston and his journey to running a successful business today.
Claire Girle, Events Co-ordinator from the Careers & Employability Centre, said; “This is the third year that we have held Aston Idol and its continued popularity confirms the enterprising spirit is alive at Aston. Once again we have been amazed by the quality of the student applications this year and the judges had to make some difficult decisions to shortlist our finalists."
Words by Kreesha Pattani
29 March 2012