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2012 New Enterprise Competition finalists announced

23 February 2012

Avant-garde robotics, a new student-published performing arts magazine, pedal-powered transport and a smartphone app for improving your golf swing are just some of the innovative entries submitted for the University of Bristol’s 2012 New Enterprise Competition.

The annual event, which is open to students, staff and recent graduates of the University, attracted stiff competition. There is a prize fund of £35,000 along with free professional advice and managed office space at the Bristol SETsquared Centre, to help bring the winning ideas to the marketplace.

Seven teams have been shortlisted to go through to the final of this year’s competition. The teams are ShopLocal – a technology-enabled way to encourage online shopping from small and local retailers; Off-Script – a new theatre and performing arts publication; Free-range University (Fruni) – a development of the Best of Bristol Lectures on a national scale to drive widening participation; Pedal Power Transport Ltd – a bicycle-based distribution and taxi business; Nimble Servers – an innovative game server business using cloud computing; Airithm – a novel technology device and smartphone app for golfers; and Rusty Squid Ltd, using interactive robotics for public engagement.

The shortlisted entries include six undergraduates, two postgraduates and two recent graduates – with Aeronautical Engineering, Biology, Computer Science, Drama, Economics, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, French, Law, Philosophy and Physics all represented.

Dave Jarman, Enterprise, Skills and Education Manager in Research and Enterprise Development (RED) and Chair of the competition judging panel, said: ‘As ever, the standard was very high, and it’s wonderful to see so many innovative ideas come forward for the competition. We hope that even those who didn’t make the final shortlist continue to work on their ideas and get supported through our Basecamp student start-up service.’

The judging panel comprised representatives from the competition’s sponsors, Deloitte, EADS, IPGroup, Motorola, Santander, SETsquared Business Acceleration Centre, Veale Wasbrough Vizards and the Wyvern Seed Fund.

The finalists will now write up full business plans with the help of mentors from Basecamp, RED and the sponsoring organisations. The final presentations will take place on 9 May 2012 with the winners announced at the University’s Enterprise Dinner on 26 June 2012.

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