Students set sights on £30,000 prize money

Published: 28 May 2012 at 10:11

Anglia Ruskin entrepreneurs gear up for final of Big Pitch 2012 competition

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Student entrepreneurs at Anglia Ruskin University will be battling it out for a share of £30,000 in the final of The Big Pitch 2012 business competition in Cambridge on Thursday, 31 May (5pm).

The competition, which is searching for the brightest, boldest and most innovative business ideas from across the university, is open to all current Anglia Ruskin students.

The brains behind the seven fledgling businesses that have made it through to the final will pitch – in front of a live audience – to a panel of business experts and successful entrepreneurs.

The ideas range from an assessment tool for counselling and social work, a range of natural skincare products, a real ale aimed at women, a foreign language conversation website, a discount wristband for London tourists, a social enterprise to provide arts resources for young offenders and a company selling truffle products.

Ben Mumby-Croft, Deputy Director of the Centre for Enterprise Development and Research (CEDAR) and Senior Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin’s Lord Ashcroft International Business School, said:

“Once again I’ve been extremely impressed with the quantity and spread of ideas we’ve received from students and I’m very much looking forward to seeing our seven grand finalists pitch their ideas in front of a live audience on Thursday.  It promises to be an exciting and extremely competitive evening.”

The winning idea on Thursday night will receive £15,000, with the runner-up taking £10,000 and £5,000 going to the student finishing third.

In addition to the start-up funding, the three winning ideas will also receive 12 months free office space at the Anglia Ruskin StartupLab, mentoring from a successful entrepreneur, legal advice from Eversheds, financial planning guidance from Peters Elworthy & Moore (PEM) and a year’s free business banking with Barclays.

All competition entrants first had to upload a short video pitch to www.thebigpitch.co.uk   These videos were then voted on by the public and the top 50% were invited to a business planning workshop and asked to submit a 2,000-word business plan.  Seven finalists were then selected to pitch their ideas in Thursday’s grand final in the Lord Ashcroft Building on Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus.

The judging panel for the final will comprise of Walter Herriott OBE; Peter Taylor, CEO of TTP Group plc; Paddy Bishopp Co-founder of Paddy & Scott’s; Natalie Haywood, Founder and Managing Director of This is Leaf Ltd; Chris Walklett, Partner at Peters Elworthy & Moore (PEM); Laragh Jeanroy, Partner at Peters Elworthy & Moore (PEM); and Michael Loffler, Partner at Eversheds.

Places are still available to attend Thursday’s event.  To register, please visit www.thebigpitch2012.eventbrite.com