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Students Pitch Business Ideas For a Share of £10,000 of Santander Funding


The University's Centre for Entrepreneurship held its flagship event  - Countdown to Launch last week, encouraging and supporting the entrepreneurial business ideas of students and graduates with a share of £10,000 of Santander funding.

The week-long intensive business start-up bootcamp saw a group of 43 students and graduates attend a series of workshops and talks designed to support them in their desire to start a business at the end of their studies at Cardiff Met.

2018 has seen a considerable increase in the demand for this event with attendance nearly doubling from that in 2017. Steve Aicheler, Entrepreneurship Engagement Manager said:

"We've made a few changes this year, making sure that our event is tailored to support graduates who want to explore freelancing and self–employment, as well as those who have ideas for bigger businesses.

"We've also seen an increase in participation where the event has been recommended through academic staff, often because we have worked with those staff members to help develop an entrepreneurial mindset in their students."

"The week culminated in an opportunity for participants to present their business idea through a pitch or exhibition event. Fourteen participants were selected through this process to receive a share of the £10,000 prize fund that is provided through the University's partnership with Santander Universities. The innovativeness of the ideas and the professionalism of the participants really impressed the judges."

James Watson, Business Relationship Manager for Santander said: "This is my fourth year as a Judge on the Countdown to Launch panel and it really is a highlight of my year. The quality of the business ideas presented is very high and I wish all the participants every success with their future businesses."

Prize-winning ideas ranged from complementary therapies targeted at end of life and palliative care, to groundbreaking solutions for the management of chronic asthma. As always, the creative industries were well represented, however tourism, hospitality and fitness-related businesses were also selected to receive funding this year.

The 14 winners as well as other participants, will continue to receive further support through the Centre for Entrepreneurship, with many of them being based either in the Centre's co-working space on the Llandaff Campus or within INCSpace in Cardiff School of Art and Design. In addition to this, the Centre will once again be running a business accelerator programme which is designed to help the participants to further develop their ideas into successful businesses.