Last week saw 32 USW students and graduates take part in an intensive start-up programme at the Cardiff Campus, to develop their business ideas and pitch for their share of £3,000.
The attending students were from Creative Industry courses, Human Biology, Creative and Therapeutic arts, Sports coaching, Psychology and IT, with a range of business ideas including a swimming academy, music studio, zero waste clothing brand and a games studio.
The Academy is organised and facilitated by the Student Enterprise Team, part of USW Careers. Entrepreneurs and business experts support the delivery of engaging and inspirational content to build business knowledge, alongside key entrepreneurial skills such as networking, selling, negotiation and pitching skills.
New to the 2019 Academy was a USW hosted networking evening at the Natwest Accelerator Hub, bringing together USW, Cardiff University and Cardiff Met start-up week students. A pitching competition also took place, with USW student Amy Smith winning the first time pitch and USW Oliver Jackson winning the advanced pitch (both pictured centre front).
Twelve of the students were successful in securing funding of various amounts, sharing out the £3,000 between them. The prize money was allocated for specialist equipment, membership to professional bodies such as BECTU, marketing and product development.
Emma Forouzan, Student Enterprise Manager, said: “The Academy provides the opportunity for students with business ideas to move into test trading or start-up. Through working with partners such as the IPO, Business Wales and Natwest, as well as inspiration and advice from entrepreneurs such as Jess Morgan of Jessica Draws and Mike Parfitt of Team Metalogicwe build knowledge, skills, network and confidence to give them the best chance of success”.
Fred Badham (pictured) “The week has been truly amazing, I have learnt so much which I can put into practice as a self-employed sound engineer! Having the opportunity to pitch my idea and the positive feedback from the judges has given me real confidence boost. The funding I was awarded will be used to purchase an Ofcom license to maximise my radio mic recording. To receive it was awesome! I would recommend Freelancers to anyone with an idea they need to get off the ground or to enhance their freelance work”.
Next year’s USW Freelancers Academy is scheduled to take place 8th - 12th June. Students and graduates embarking on a freelancing/start-up journey are encouraged to contact Student Enterprise firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://careers.southwales.ac.uk/enterprise/to find out about further mentoring and funding opportunities available to them.
Photos and videos from across the week can be viewed on our twitter feed - @EnterpriseUSW
We are now encouraging the final year students and graduates who attended, and those in our wider network to consider the Startup Stiwdio Sefydlu – a brand new USW Incubator providing dedicated coworking space, access to specialist advice and much more. Applications and free scholarship places are open now. Find at more at https://careers.southwales.ac.uk/enterprise/startupstiwdio/