The Young Enterprise programme gives undergraduate students the opportunity to start a business with their classmates. From the initial idea of their business, to the process of researching their target market and making important business decisions to develop their ideas, before preparing a pitch presented before industry experts. Second-year Business Management students here at Hope get to take part in the business start-up programme and last week was the Hope Pitching Competition. All the business teams pitched their businesses, hoping to gain a place at the Regional Finals competing against other North West universities in Bolton later this year.
The pitches for this year’s students who participated in the programme were full of innovative ideas bursting with creativity, as the groups presented their businesses to a panel of judges including Andy Firr, Young Enterprise Development Manager for the North West. The ideas brought forward by the groups were of high promise and offered an insight into gaps in the market that they felt could be filled. The groups that were chosen to represent Liverpool Hope University in the Regional Finals were MealMate and Medi Comfort, two groups that had clearly set up a company with great potential and development opportunity.
MealMate introduced themselves as a healthy eating budget planner for students. They presented in their pitch the concept for a cookbook full of recipes of varying difficulties, supported with a website and social media pages that could be populated with a variety of engaging content. Their presentation was well rehearsed and prepared with clear roles for members of the group set out. As a business they are setting out to reduce food waste, through ongoing talks with the group ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ who had given them an overview of the problem with food waste which was discussed during their pitch. They also had ideas in expanding the business to other industries such as currency and travel.
The additional winner selected was Medi Comfort, who had targeted an opportunity in the market of Picc Lines and how these could be adapted and made customizable with colour and design. Something which was personal to members of the groups was raising the awareness of charities, Dougie Mac and Marie Curie hospices. Just like MealMate they had a well-structured pitch which set out how they would market the product, which would be sourced and distributed to hospital and nursing homes, supported with social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook.
Other pitches of notable recognition include Unspoken, who are working towards raising awareness of mental health through the production of T-shirts, to raise profits which would be put towards campaigns on social media and working with other charities that shared in the same mission statement. The Green Suppliers, who seek to promote eco straws and their use in local bars and The Corporate Giftbox Company who set out to create personal hampers for clients who had purchased or decided to rent a property. Both of these business proposals had reached out to local businesses for their market research and had carried out their development well in preparation for their pitch.
Congratulations to Meal Mate and MediComfort and we look forward to seeing how they get on at Regionals!
Marketing & Events Consultant (Hope Internship Programme)