The School of Engineering
Portsmouth entrepreneurs on a winning streak
Thu, Feb 17, 2011
Sean Larsen, Andrew Martin and Dan O’ Brien brought home £1500 in prize money for their entrepreneurial ideas in the Bright Science Ideas Competition in which students submit ideas relating the STEM subjects, science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For Sean and Andrew it was their second recent success having won prizes at the University of Portsmouth’s Enterprise challenge competition just one week ago.
There were over 170 entries to the competition from nine of the region’s top STEM universities. Students submit a proposal for a product or service on which they are judged on realism, practicality and suitability for the target market. The 1000 word pitch should make a real impact on a potential investor, client or other stakeholder, explain what their product/service does and how it meets the market need. The proposals are then evaluated by a panel of entrepreneurial experts.
Sean, who is in his third year studying Enterprise in Product Design, won £1000 for his design for a helicopter training console. The 22 year old got the idea for the simulator when he saved up to put himself through helicopter flight training.
He said: “The competition was very high so it was tempting to feel like the underdog, but it made winning one of the top prizes even more satisfying. Coming on top of my success at the Enterprise Challenge awards is a brilliant way to approach the end of my degree and has given me confidence for the future.”
Dan O Brien, who is in his third year of a degree in Enterprise in Computer Games Design, won one of the runner up prizes worth £250 for developing ‘GigaPixel Studios,’ a start-up company with a unique take on what it is to be an independent games development studio in 21st century Britain. With three distinct revenue streams, this studio is not only dedicated to producing top tier quality games, it is serious about utilising all the profit making opportunities available to it.
The final winner, Andrew Martin, is in his first year of Computer Games Technology. He impressed the judges with his website and mobile phone application which work in unison that allows runners to share information about routes, speed and timings and to compare performance on Facebook and twitter etc.
Richard Sant or the University’s Centre for Enterprise said that he was proud to have three Portsmouth students bring home prizes. “It confirms that our students have real flair for innovation and entrepreneurship and demonstrates that we can compete against some of the best universities in the South – and win.”
The Bright Science Ideas Competition is open to students from the Universities of Brunel, Kingston, Roehampton, Royal Holloway, London St George’s, St Mary’s University College, Thames Valley, Westminster and Portsmouth. It was launched by WestFocus Entrepreneurship Centre to give students from any discipline the opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial thinking.