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Early-stage funding awarded in New Enterprise Competition 2014

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12 December 2013

Grants have been awarded to 13 new business ideas entered by students, staff and alumni at Bristol in Round One of the University’s 2014 New Enterprise Competition.

The NEC, now in its 13th year, awards funding and professional support to original business ideas from across the University. This year it has been expanded to offer early-stage funding and feedback in the autumn and spring to give entrants a chance to put their ideas into practice.

From the 40 applicants, the most promising 18 were asked to present their ideas to an expert panel for a chance of a grant of up to £500. Ideas ranged from green taxis and eco-friendly dishwashers to animal parasite management and a mobile soup kitchen. Dave Jarman, Head of Enterprise Education said: ‘It was our first-ever early-stage NEC funding panel and the level of interest and enthusiasm exceeded our expectations. The range and calibre of ideas which have come forward has been really excellent.’

Theo Ricketts, a MEng student, was awarded a grant for his pay-per-view digital advertising idea. He said: ‘The competition was a great experience. The grant will be very helpful, but the phenomenal advice and support from the experts was by far the most valuable.’

Physiological Science student, Rachel Haig, was also awarded a grant. She commented: ‘It's so exciting to begin to have people backing me. I'd really encourage other people to give it a go as it's a very safe environment to share your ideas – and the worst-case scenario is that you'll pick up wisdom and advice for next time.’

The NEC cash and business support prizes are made possible by the generous support of sponsors: Deloitte, Wyvern Seed Fund, HEFCE's Unltd social enterprise fund, Eads, Veale Wasbrough Visards, Santander, SETsquared Partnership, Marketest and Watertight Marketing.

Round Two of the NEC is now open for further early-stage grants. The deadline is 23:50 on 5 March, and successful applicants will attend a feedback panel on March 13. More information is available at: www.bris.ac.uk/red/nec.