Finalists in a University of Brighton ‘bright ideas’ contest visited 10 Downing Street to discuss student entrepreneurship.
One explained his idea of turning the seven million tonnes of food thrown away each year into nutritious juices.
The students met Government business advisor Jimmy McLoughlin on the invitation of Enterprise Nation, the business support tool available free to all student and graduate entrepreneurs from the University.
The students discussed their product/business ideas which qualified them as finalists in the competition, managed by the University’s Enterprise Team within the Careers Service and which aims to reward innovation and turn good ideas into reality.
The five finalists later pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges from the local business community.
First prize of £2000 went to Brighton Business School’s Harry Kimberley-Bowen with his ‘Frugly’, which aims to tackle food waste by creating healthy, nutritious and affordable juices. His research showed that in the UK, seven million tonnes of food is thrown away each year with up to 40 per cent of fruit and veg’ not making it from farms to supermarket shelves due to its ‘ugly’ appearance –1.4 million bananas are binned because they are bruised. He said: “I want to turn this rescued fruit and ‘veg into juice”.
Second prize of £1,000 went to Tom Meades who recently graduated with a 3D Design and Craft BA(Hons) degree. He made a Bluetooth speaker from recycled plastic and co-launched Gomi.design which aims to turn rubbish into useful products.
Third prize of £500 went to Debbie Wright, studying a MBA in Leadership, with her new baby changing bag.
Runner up prizes of £250 went to International Hospitality Management BA(Hons) students Emily Dunlop, Lucy Edmonds, Shannon Lester-Murphy and Tanya Vince‘BarBeacon’ which speeds up service in pubs and bars by accelerating payments; and to Bernardo Sebastião, studying Automotive Engineering BEng(Hons), for his global penfriend scheme.