Budding entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to reach national final

An innovative new app which could be part of the next generation of pop-up books has won a regional Young Enterprise competition hosted by the University of Wolverhampton.

Budding entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to industry experts and heard from the 2016 winner of the BBC’s The Apprentice at the final of the West Midlands Young Enterprise scheme. The contest encourages young people to develop their business and social skills by setting up their own companies.

Six teams from across the region reached the final: Walsall Academy, King Edward VI High School in Stafford, Arden Academy in Solihull, Malvern St James, Newport Girls High School in Shropshire and a joint team from King’s High School and Warwick School.

The overall winning team was Orbit Interactive from King Edward VI High School, who will represent the West Midlands at the national finals in July.

The team of three students produced an innovative educational, digitally interactive, book and app. The book follows Columbii, an alien from a distant planet, on his first adventure around seven countries on Earth. For each new country that he visits, children use the free app to scan the page which causes the graphics to ‘pop-out’ of the book through the device's screen. But this is no ordinary pop-up book as the graphics are interactive too, for example tapping Big Ben to hear it chime, which could be the next generation of pop-up books.

The guest speaker at the event Alana Spencer, the 2016 winner of the BBC's The Apprentice, who shared with the young entrepreneurs her experience of taking an idea and setting up a new business, Ridiculously Rich by Alana, with Lord Sugar.

The judging panel included representatives from a range of organisations including Caterpillar, the NEC Group, AF Blakemore, and the University of Wolverhampton.

Stephen Grady, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University, said: "It was a delight to be involved in judging the work of the participant student companies, standards were very high and the students demonstrated an impressive array of entrepreneurial skills throughout the process.

"The University of Wolverhampton Business School is delighted to support the Young Enterprise Scheme since it encourages young people to explore their business acumen, creativity and innovation - the very qualities we seek to develop in our own graduates."

Other prize winners included:

Azure - King's High School and Warwick School

Winners of Best Teamwork Award and Best Company Report

Crucial Compacts - Newport Girls' High School

Winners of the Social Enterprise Award (sponsored by Asda)

Dynamic - Malvern St James Girls' School

Winners of the Best Presentation Award and Financial Management Award

Inspire and Grow - Walsall Academy

Winners of the Best Sales and Marketing Award, Best Trade Stand, and overall the Runner-up in the Best Company Award

Orbit Interactive - King Edward VI High School, Stafford

Winners of the Creativity Award (sponsored by Disney), Best Product, and the overall Winner of Best Company Award

Zest - Arden Academy, Solihull

Winner of the Social, Ethical and Environmental Awareness Award (sponsored by Air Spectrum Environmental Ltd)

Further information

Picture: Winner of the Best Company Award at the Young Enterprise competition King Edward VI High School from Stafford.

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

Date Issued: Thursday, 22 June 2017

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