Budding entrepreneurs from across the county have pitched their ideas in a Dragons Den style event at the University of Suffolk.
The University hosted the Suffolk Young Enterprise Showcase for 2018, which highlighted the work of six entries. The joint winners were announced as Sunrise from East Bergholt High School and East Coast Eats from Woodbridge School.
Sunrise is a collaboration creating urban streetwear such a hoodies and t-shirts and East Coast Eats created a cookery book supported by and featuring recipes from local eateries.
East Bergholt High School was represented by two other student groups. A New Leaf, takes old, damaged or unwanted books and turns them into various artistic designs by folding back the pages. while the project group behind Zoom Photography took inspiration from London markets in their designs of personalising photo frames with scrabble pieces.
Thurst Burst from Ipswich School was perhaps the most topical of the entries in the competition as there offering is personalised water bottles, with the aim of cutting down on plastic bottle waste while keeping track through marks on the bottle of how much you are drinking. The final entry came from Alde Valley Academy’s Alde Lads Designs who came up with heated handlebars for bicycles.
The entries were judged by Dr Daba Chowdhury, Associate Professor and MBM Programme Leader at the University of Suffolk; Tony Houghton, Senior Visiting Fellow at the University of Suffolk; Carol Fletcher from BT; Nicky Corbett from EDF Energy Sizewell C Project; Kelly White from Adnams PLC and Paul Fair from Associated British Ports (ABP).
Dr Daba Chowdhury from the University said, “This project is very interesting and encouraging for school students. I am delighted be a judge and, as a community impact university, it is only right the University of Suffolk should host something of this nature. All the entries showed great skills and potential in their designs.”
The six entries were selected from 25 from across the county. The winners will attend the Suffolk Show next month and will now go forward to the regional finals in Cambridge.
Pat Trimmer, Young Enterprise Manager for Suffolk, said, “Students from around the age of 15 to those in sixth form typically take part. We have some younger students represented here and they’ve done tremendously well, they’ve not been phased by the process at all.”
“We were set up in the 1960’s, our founder wanted to help schools understand about companies, how to set one up and run it, not everyone wants to work in a large organisation. All of these students have that entrepreneurial flair and we have a couple of school projects that started a couple of years ago and have continued into a business.”
Eddy Alcock, Chairman of the Suffolk Young Enterprise Board, said, “All the entries have products that are sellable. We are introducing these students to the world of work through this project, they learn something every week and that experience is invaluable.”
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