The University of Glamorgan presented its third annual Future Entrepreneur Awards in December 2011. The ceremony was held during the Wales Quality Awards at Cardiff’s City Hall.
The University’s Centre of Enterprise and School of Creative & Cultural Industries established the awards to encourage entrepreneurship and enterprise among university students and graduates in Wales. The competition has expanded for 2011 and this year there were two awards presented for the winners in South Wales and in North Wales. The winner of the South Wales award was Voodoo Games, a media and games company formed by five students at the University of Glamorgan.
Toby Johnson, Ryan Morgan and Ted Thomas from Voodoo Games accepted their award from Vincent Kane, chairman of The Welsh Quality Centre, and Professor Gary Packham. They received the coveted Future Entrepreneur Award trophy and a cheque for £1000.
Toby Johnson of the winning team said: “We are delighted and honoured to receive the award on behalf of the Voodoo Games team. The prize money will help us to finance our current game.”
The team will also benefit from a complete support package from Venture Wales that will help turn their business dream into a reality. This will include financial support, business mentoring and access to a Business Angel to help promote their product in the marketplace.
This year entries were extended to graduates of the University of Glamorgan and its partner colleges across Wales. The finalists pitched their business ideas to a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style judging panel made up of industry experts.
Nordic Aqua Sports consisting of a student from Merthyr College took second place in the South Wales award category, whilst The Moore Show another entry from the University of Glamorgan took the third prize. The judges presented both teams with certificates and cheques for £200.
In the North Wales category the winners were Roamkix.com consisting of a student from Coleg Menai. Roamkix.com sells VINTAGE clothing online and Jessica Piatigorskey from the team also collected a winner’s cheque for £1000, business support and the all-important Future Entrepreneur Award 2011 winner’s trophy. Emily Roberts Jewellery and furniture manufacturer Custom Made also made up of students from Coleg Menai won the North Wales second and third place awards respectively
Chairman of the Wales Quality Centre, Vincent Kane, said: “I am delighted to continue support this initiative from University of Glamorgan. Entrepreneurs are people who make things happen, and Wales needs people like that in the future – lots of them.”
Managing Director Steve Dalton from Sony UK Technology who presented the trophy to Voodoo Games said “Sony UK is proud to support the Future Entrepreneur Awards, and we are looking forward to hosting Voodoo Games at our Bridgend Technology Park as part of our on-going commitment to supporting Welsh entrepreneurialism”.
Jill Gorin from Venture Wales, said: “The Future Entrepreneur Awards has created an environment to stimulate and guide students and graduates. These Awards have created a fantastic opportunity for them to display their entrepreneurial talents. Everybody had a great experience at the Wales Quality Award ceremony.”
Colin Voisey, a visiting professor at the University of Glamorgan, is the organiser of the awards scheme. He said “We received over 100 entries for the award this year, which is an amazing response. I have been impressed with the enthusiasm of all the entrants and the quality of the business ideas they put forward. All of the Future Entrepreneur Award finalists have the potential to go on to have a highly successful future.”
The awards are supported by The Welsh Government, Sony UK Technology, Howells Solicitors, Monmouthshire Independent Financial Advisors, Coleg Menai and the Wales Quality Centre.
This year’s finalists:
Big idea: A media and games company that is developing an isometric puzzle game called ‘Soul of Odyssey’ which is based on characters from Greek mythology. The hope is to launch the game across a variety of mobile platforms in Autumn 2012.
Big idea: A company selling ladies VINTAGE clothing online
Big idea: A sole trader from Merthyr Tydfil planning to become the first aqua fitness company in the UK to offer classes designed around Nordic Sports.
Big idea: A national weekly television talk show based at the University of Glamorgan’s ATRiuM campus and currently being broadcast on SKY channel 201.
Big idea: A company focused on the design and manufacture of distinctive jewellery.
Big idea: A furniture manufacturer using recycled car parts for production.