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Students compete for £1,000 enterprise investment from local businesses

‘Brainchild’ is a business concept competition organised by NUA and now in its third year. Students and recent graduates are encouraged to take a business idea, develop it over a few months with guidance and expertise provided by sponsors in a series of workshops, and then present it to a panel to compete for funding. The proposals will be judged during the afternoon as the final six students vie for a share of an investment prize pot totaling £1,000 plus free mentoring worth a staggering £4,500 from the competition’s sponsors: chartered accountants Lovewell Blake, solicitors Steeles Law, Creative Design Agency Farrows, Creative Digital Website Design Agency Selesti, Business Support Community Norfolk Network and Barclays Bank.

Students discuss their business ideas with local business representatives

Students discuss their business ideas with local business representatives

Students at the Norwich University of the Arts will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges drawn from local business leaders on Wednesday 23rd March.

The judges will consider proposals including an ID wristband for medical emergencies, innovatively cut place mats and lamp shades, charity linked wedding dresses, textiles using Strangers of Norwich designs, an iPhone app for healthy eating and a clothing range for surfers. The winner and commendations will be announced at a ceremony held in NUA’s Duke Street Building foyer at 6.30pm.

Norfolk Network founder Bev Hurley, chair of the judging panel, will explain the panel’s decision and present the prizes to the successful students. She will be joined on the judging panel by representatives from sponsors: Simon De-Lacy Adams, a partner at chartered accountants Lovewell Blake; Will Farrow, Creative Partner of Farrows design agency; Tom Parsley, a Director at web design agency Selesti; James Tarling, a Senior Partner with solicitors Steeles Law; Peter Merriott, Business Banking Manager at Barclays Bank; and Laura Garrow, last year’s Brainchild winner.

NUA Careers Advisor Richard Peat says: “The Brainchild competition provides a great opportunity for students to get input from experienced business leaders on how to develop their business ideas including one to one support on the practical aspects of business planning and development. Practical career guidance, including self-employment and business start up, is becoming increasingly important as part of our students University experience, and the Brainchild project means that solicitors, accountants, business, marketing and advertising experts can directly mentor students with their ideas. We are very grateful for the time and support our sponsors have provided which have been invaluable to the students in creating business ideas which now have a strong chance of success in the creative industries.

“Last year the students pitched a wide range of creative services and products to our judging panel, and this year the number of applications has increased with an ever greater quality of ideas which will make the judging all the more difficult, though the panel are looking forward to the challenge. These business professionals relish the opportunity to encounter the next generation of designers and creatives and help to mould their innovative ideas in their infancy into viable money-making concerns.”

Local businesses have been invited to the event, but attendance is open to all and entrance is free. Anyone interested in coming along to the Brainchild ceremony is requested to arrive at the Duke Street building foyer from 6pm.

Logo for Brainchild

Awards ceremony date: Wednesday 23rd March
Place: The Foyer at Norwich University of the Arts, Duke Street, Norwich NR3 3AJ
Starts: Arrive at 6pm for 6.30pm presentations.

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