Cardiff Metropolitan University's Student President Josh Barnett has recently been shortlisted in the Santander 60 Second Pitch, an exciting competition in which student and graduate entrepreneurs create a 60 second video to pitch for a cash prize of £1500.
Josh graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University last July with a degree in Sports Coaching and has been working as the Student Union President since September. Whilst studying for his degree Josh set up a clothing brand called Treatment Clothing. The business started when Josh decided to teach himself how to sew as a hobby and created his own one-of-a-kind t-shirts using a mix of fabric designs. After receiving positive feedback on his designs Josh decided to start producing the t-shirts on a larger scale and set-up a website in order to sell his designs.
His business grew quickly and he soon expanded into other items including hats and sweatshirts while also attracting a large following on social media. Josh was also successful in receiving celebrity endorsement for his products after his t-shirts were worn by Little Mix in one of their music videos.
Whilst setting up his business, Josh has benefitted from the support offered at the Centre for Student Entrepreneurship at Cardiff Met. The Centre provide one to one support and mentoring for students and graduates who are interested in starting a business as well as offering a range of events and activities aimed at developing students' entrepreneurial skills.
Josh has participated in a number of the activities on offer including the Cardiff Bay Christmas Market in 2013 in which Josh and a number of other students were given a free stall to trade from for a day. This gave Josh a great opportunity to get feedback on his designs and to sell some of his products.
Since then Josh has been successful in winning two competitions run by the Centre, both of which were sponsored by Santander under the Santander Universities partnership. The first was Flash Fund, a unique opportunity for students to submit a one-page pitch to win a share of £1000 for their business. Josh was one of eight students to win a share of the prize fund, which he used to buy a new sewing machine.
In June 2014 Josh took part in Countdown to Launch, a five day business start-up event run by the Centre which was also funded by Santander. The event included a range of workshops which covered the various aspects of starting a business including marketing, finance and operations. At the end of the five days the students were given the opportunity to pitch to a panel of business experts for funding to help develop their business. Josh was one of six students who were successful in pitching for funding. As part of this competition Josh also receives ongoing support from the Centre.
Josh is the only finalist in the Santander 60 Second Pitch from a Welsh university. His video can be viewed online on the Santander Universities website. To win the competition Josh needs to receive more votes than any of the other finalists. The voting process is open until January 31st and after this date three finalists will be shortlisted for the final round. Cardiff Metropolitan University's Entrepreneurship Education Manager Natasha Hashimi commented:
''We are really pleased that Josh has been shortlisted for the Santander 60 Second Pitch. It is testament to the hard work and dedication that he has shown for his business and the innovative style of his clothing brand. Josh has already benefitted from the Santander Universities partnership through his success in the competitions that we have held at the Centre for Student Entrepreneurship. We hope that he can follow on from this success and win this competition.''
Josh commented: ''I am honoured to be shortlisted in to the final 10 in the UK and being the only student from a Welsh institution is a great achievement. Hopefully I get all the support and give it the best shot possible to place in the final 3.''