Entrepreneurial students received a major boost for their business ideas at Swansea University’s annual Big Pitch Competition, sponsored by Santander Universities.
Held in person for the first time in two years, the Big Pitch aims to provide support for students to gain valuable skills and get their ideas off the ground.
19 entrepreneurial students pitched 14 different ideas to a panel of esteemed judges, who awarded more than £10,500 to four start-ups.
All students received mentoring, and four businesses were awarded spaces on bespoke accelerator programmes designed by the Enterprise Team in collaboration with national organisations.
Students were each given a three-minute slot to pitch their ideas to the judges: Ben Reynolds, Founder of the Urban Foundry and Wales' first B-Corp; Nicholas Davies, Relationship Manager for Santander Universities; Lucy Griffiths, Head of Swansea University's Employability Academy; Kelly Jordan, Senior Enterprise Officer for the Enterprise Team and James Hughes, Chief Executive at Vedra Partners.
Businesses ranged from healthy acai smoothie bowls, patented baking technology and bespoke student design solutions, to plant and gift shops, student consultancies and more.
Before their presentations, students attended workshops organised by Swansea University's Enterprise Team, based in Research, Engagement and Innovation Services (REIS), which offered advice on developing their ideas and pitching them effectively.
Dan Eedy, School of Management postgraduate student and founder of Kiwi, said: "The Big Pitch was a really great opportunity to showcase my new business start-up to an audience, something I hadn't previously done.
"It was interesting to learn about a variety of other new businesses through their pitches and the networking opportunity during the event.
"The funding that I gratefully received will be hugely beneficial in purchasing essential equipment, that will allow my business to grow faster than anticipated.
"I'm looking forward to serving tasty and healthy smoothie bowls in Swansea and farther afield in the coming months."
Senior Enterprise Officer Kelly Jordan said she was delighted to see the competition going from strength to strength: "After two challenging years for all businesses, we have again been blown away by the quality and standard of the pitches and business models delivered during the Big Pitch.
"Each of the students who took part has done Swansea University proud, with entries from all three faculties spanning across all years of study.
"Our students are proving that Swansea University is a truly entrepreneurial institution."
Dr Ben Reynolds, a judge for the Big Pitch and founder of Urban Foundry, said: "I really enjoyed being a judge for the Big Pitch again. There were some great pitches and lots of talent on show!"
Swansea University's Enterprise Team delivers the University's "Student Entrepreneurship: Our Strategic Approach 2018-2023".
Find out how to access support from the Enterprise Team.