Brighton graduate Melanie Smith has reached the semi-finals of the UK’s largest business pitching competition for universities.
Melanie (left, pictured with Holly Price from Santander), who studied graphic communication, is through to the final stages of the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards 2017. She will go head-to-head against students and graduates from eight other universities, pitching her idea to a team of judges from Microsoft, Santander, Middlesex University and social enterprise app MeeTwo.
Melanie’s innovative book product, called STORY, was selected from dozens of entrants to compete in the ‘post-revenue’ category for businesses that are already trading. She now has the chance to win a share of £82,000 prize money and a package of business support.
Clare Griffiths, Business Development Manager (Entrepreneurship) at the University of Brighton, said: “We are delighted and proud that Melanie is through to the semi-finals of this prestigious competition. Melanie has been involved with our entrepreneurship support service, beepurple, for several years and it’s been wonderful to follow her journey.
“STORY is a fantastic ‘walk-in-book’ concept that ignites the imaginations of both children and adults. It’s already been backed by a successful Kickstarter campaign and has featured in The Guardian as well as other media. We’re excited to see what the judges think on 26 June!”
Holly Price, University Relationship Branch Manager at Santander said: “I am so pleased to see Melanie reach the semi-finals of the competition and watching how STORY has developed. It’s crucial we continue to encourage entrepreneurship every step of the way, especially for our student entrepreneurs. These are the business leaders of tomorrow and it’s impressive to see so many students and graduates demonstrating a great deal of skill and initiative.”
You can find out more about the competition at http://www.santander.co.uk/uk/santander-universities.