Entrepreneurs step up for the first round of pitching
Wednesday 16 November 2016
Students with a business proposition had five minutes to present their idea to a panel of experts in order to progress to the next round of the Business Enterprise Student Support Scheme (BESSS) competition, where they stand to win £5000 to support their business plan.
On Wednesday 9th November, 13 budding entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to a panel of business experts during the first stage of BESSS. In a quick-fire round of question and answers, the candidates were given a "Dragons Den" style of assessment to whittle down the 13 candidates to 7.
From environmentally-friendly products to algorithms, the pitches covered a vast array of topics and had real potential to become fully-fledged businesses. The entrepreneurs ranged from individuals to teams of students. These included some examples of pioneering research which has progressed from their studies to the potential to grow into a business. The fashion, music and events industry all had representation, with this being the first experience of pitching for many. One student claimed “the panel had constructive ideas and very valid questions.” Those who were successful in this round will proceed to the final round of the competition, where they will continue to battle it out for a £5000 investment on Wednesday the 14th of December.
The BESS scheme is supported by the University of Surrey’s Student Enterprise programme, allows university students each year to apply for funding in support of their business idea. The prize money of £5000 can ease the capital costs of starting up a business which presents challenges for any entrepreneur let alone a student. The money can be used for a wide range of purposes from further research to building a prototype to bring in future investors. The scheme aims to bridge the gap between merely an idea to a fully-fledged business.