Pitch2Win 16/17 Finalist – Waterwheels

I’m Chanelle and I am the founder of waterwheels – long story short – having studied as an undergraduate at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2016, I discovered a major problem linked with binge drinking and the student market. Fast forward a year, I am now studying a Masters in Digital Design at De Montfort University, developing a business and even better – winning Pitch2Win March 2017.

This is how it all started – I recognised that several national campaigns try to promote safe drinking, recommended limits and how much you should drink – fact is, as a student this is the last thing we would be considering when out with friends. With aspects such as peer pressure, freedom and the overload of alcohol promotions, drinking is very much key to the British culture; research also shows that students are more likely to drink, smoke and take drugs than the general population! Instead of discouraging students to drink before a night out, why not focus on aiding them after a night out? One thing which aids drunkenness is rehydration – which is where my business idea comes in.

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waterwheels – rehydration when you need it most.

The concept will consist of a branded van providing bottled water to students the very moment they step out of a nightclub. Why? First of all is time. Over crowdedness and long queues in night life venues make it almost impossible to gain a bottle of water. Second is location. Supermarkets are closed, and usually takeaways are a never ending walk away, especially when under the influence of alcohol. Thirdly is price. Although tap water is free (and horrible) prices of bottled water are way over £2. My concept aims to demolish the current issues, making it convenient for students to rehydrate the moment they need it most.

As part of my Masters final project, I am currently developing it digitally through branding, website design and mobile app design but I really wanted further support to make it more than a university project.

My Pitch2Win experience has been an overwhelming experience to say the least. Having only three minutes to present my idea I was amazed when I won it! The judges had positive feedback on the idea and were impressed on the research I had conducted and how the concept attempts to solve a real-life problem. I would certainly recommend this experience to anyone who wants to start a business, even if its at an early stage like mine. It has provided me with a great platform and opportunity to potentially launch it into a business – watch this space!

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Pitch2Win 16/17 Finalist – Wren and Wilson

Hi my name is Jen and I am the founder and creative director of my business Wren & Wilson. I make fun, contemporary and original accessories and jewellery inspired by pop culture, nature and cute animals. I love creating and designing for my business as it feel great to be able to take an idea out of my brain and turn it into something tangible that people are excited about and want to buy!

I graduated from De Montfort University in 2013 with a degree in Fine Art and have been running Wren & Wilson for about a year now. I feel ready to take my business to the next step which is why I wanted to take part in DMU’s Pitch2Win.

The application process to take part in Pitch2Win was super quick and easy! It was during a business advice meeting with the Enterprise Team where I signed up and all you have to do is register and write a quick sentence about your business.

The actual presentation was a lot less scary than I thought it was going to be. I’d spent the week before preparing what I was going to say and timed myself talking as you only get three minutes to give the presentation! After the three minutes you get to have a chat with the judges which was great because you have three people completely engaged in what you’re saying and giving their full attention to your ideas and products. It was nice to take my business, which I know so well but is quite personal to me as I work on my own from home, and then take it to three strangers and bare all! It was really nice to see their reactions to my products and gave me some useful feedback.

I would definitely recommend taking part in the competition as the staff are really supportive and helpful and the process of actually giving the presentation and talking solely about your business is incredibly useful.

Pitch2Win 16/17 Finalist – Student Gift Box

I’m Joshua Solomon co-owner of Student Gift Box, we’re a company that designs and delivers specifically tailored gift hampers to students. The company originally started in 2015 as a lone project via Ed Weston, however, the business was revived in 2016 and transformed into what it is today under a joint effort alongside Kwaku Boateng.

Student Giftbox

Our inspiration was to create a business that really understood students and what we want to arrive at our student doorsteps. We know how strenuous and turbulent student life can be, especially with the advanced independence but not quite knowing what to do with it at times! We wanted to bridge the gap between parents and students, allowing guardians to send tailored parcels with ease, a simple online method, variety, fast delivery and an option of a personalised message.

Pitch2Win has been an overly positive experience for me, the experience was professional and not too overwhelming for a student. The judges were engaging and gave positive reinforcements as I was speaking to help calm my nerves. I would recommend anyone who even ponders ideas regarding entrepreneurship to apply, regardless of how advanced your idea might be, the support you’d receive would help you push on and realise there’s opportunity out there. My tip for anyone starting a business would be to do something you truly believe in and do not chase money. An additional tip about pitching in this competition, be honest, integrity gets you further than Del Boy tactics!

“The world is your lobster”.