Celebrating the business leaders of tomorrow
Press release issued: 31 May 2013
A leading businessman, who came up with the idea for his clothing empire while studying at the University of Bristol, will return to the city to honour and inspire the next generation of leading entrepreneurs. Nick Wheeler, founder of Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts and non-executive director of The White Company, is the special guest at the SETsquared Enterprise Awards – an event which showcases the achievements of students and graduates from universities across the south, as well as the mentors, champions and initiatives that have helped them thrive.
It’s the first time the awards have been held in Bristol, with the University hosting them at M Shed on Thursday, 6 June.
Historically, the SETsquared student enterprise awards have acted as a barometer for emerging talent in UK business. Previous winners have included those behind the company Thoughtified – a web-based software development company - which began life as a student enterprise start-up in 2011 and now turns over £300,000 a year.
The event is run by SETsquared, a partnership of the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, in order to celebrate and encourage entrepreneurialism in the UK’s next generation.
Nicholas Charles Tyrwhitt Wheeler came up with the idea for Charles Tyrwhitt in 1986 whilst studying Geography. He set out to make the best shirts, using only the finest materials, at great value and with unbeatable service.
The company continues to grow rapidly in the UK and internationally with sales of £130 million forecast for 2012/13.
Nick said: “With the UK showing signs of a stagnated economy, it has never been more important to nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs. Fast, flexible and lean start-ups will be the lifeblood of UK business in years to come and it is therefore vital that businesses, Government and organisations such as SETsquared work together to make it happen.”
People and businesses from the University of Bristol who have made the shortlist are:
- Gemma-Josiane Smith, the President of Bristol Social Enterprise Society, is nominated in the Student Enterprise Champion category.
- Entrepreneur, engineer and investor Ray Crispin, a mentor at Basecamp, is nominated in the Business Mentor category.
- Basecamp, the University’s dedicated student start-up space, is run by graduates for students and is supported by the Research, Enterprise and Development Division. Nominated in the Best Student Enterprise Experience category.
- Vintage Teas, set-up by Thomas Henry Ventures Limited, buys and imports tea from Sri Lanka. Nominated in the Best Student Start-Up category.
- UltraHaptics is a revolutionary new form of tactile feedback, enabling the sensation of touch in mid-air which would have a variety of applications across a range of industries. Nominated for Best Graduate Start-Up.
Dave Jarman, Head of Enterprise Education at the University of Bristol, said: “Supporting students into enterprise is now a strategic objective for universities - we need more of our students to start companies, to join small companies that might become big companies, and to keep new ideas pumping in established industries. The SETsquared Universities have joined forces to support our students' aspirations and ideas and this event is a showcase of all that good work."
To find out more about the event, please visit the SETsquared website.
Further informationAbout SETsquared
SETsquared is a collaboration between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey which partners in enterprise activities and collectively supports the growth and success of new business opportunities through spin-outs, licensing, incubation and education. The partnership also works with industry through research collaboration and consultancy.