Innovation alive and thriving in schools

11 May 2007

I was at the West of England finals for the Young Enterprise 2007 Company of the Year awards last night. 6 companies battling it out for various prizes and the opportunity to progress to the National and International part of the competition. Quite a mixed bunch of companies from around the Bristol area, some service bases, some product based, some B2C and B2B. None existing purely on the internet, they all have ‘real’ products to sell, and they were all selling at a profit with no start-up capital other than what they’d raised themselves from shares!

The event was well supported by BT and Rolls Royce and by local entrepreneurs Brilliant Weekends. In fact Richard Dennys from Brilliant Weekends acted as Chair of the Judges and did an excellent job of not just awarding the prizes but giving the contestants the consolidated pearls of wisdom from the panel of 5 (Victoria Barry (MD, Red Carpet Marketing, Sara Jolliffe, Finance Community Manager, AXA Sun Life, Ian Venn Head of Corporate Services, City of Bristol College, Joe Hartnell, Team Leader, BT Complex Bid Team, and of course Richard).

AccessorMe (the company I’ve been advising) did really well picking up the Industry Cup for Best Trade Stand, obviously a little disappointed not to have walked off with the main prize but a good effort against pretty tough competition.

Op3nDoors were awarded the British Gas Judges Award for triumphing over adversity and being there at all, and Pulse and Skye (sadly no website, just school news links) were awarded the ICSA Good Governance Award and Teacher Placement Cup for Best Presentation respectively.

Cockroach, however, pulled off 4 awards including the Bob Searle Best Overall Company (the others being the Imperial Merit Cup for Best Report, the BT Award for Online Business, and the Brilliant Weekends Award for Innovation). Cockroach are now holding the torch for the West of England and have a good chance of going all the way to the final finals.

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