York Entrepreneurs—York’s student-run enterprise society—hosted a well-planned and original enterprise competition in November: The Blueprint. The competition ran over four days, and saw six student teams of four testing and developing their enterprise skills in two original challenges, based around the themes of toys and artwork for children. The competitition offered not only a handsome first prize of £750, but also the chance to work with experts in the areas of branding, marketing and innovation—and to learn from their advice and feedback.
The first challenge tested teams’ marketing acumen as they planned a marketing campaign for a new and innovative toy—of their own design. The aim was to address the 9–12 year old market, and to create a Christmas bestseller. Teams had two days to refine their plan, and received feedback early on from leading consultants. The final test was a 12-minute pitch of their idea to the panel of three business experts: Dragon’s Den contestant and iTeddy founder, Imran Hakim; owner of Bubbles toy shop, Lucia Martin; and managing director of hr180—an HR support and advice company for SMEs—Claire Morley Jones.
The second challenge focussed not on Marketing, but Markets. Each surviving team was given a 10 foot long market stall on Parliament Street, a busy market square in the centre of York. On the first day, teams had to bid for artwork from York-based artists and designers—as well as their stalls—in a silent auction. Students then worked with the artists and designers—getting to know the works, their creators, and their likely audience—and planned the following day’s trading.
After days of hard work, learning, and valuable experience, there is no doubt that each student gained something from this competition. However, only one team left with the £750 prize: 4 Team, who comprised Gareth Dowse, Rachel Rawson, Chloe Milne (Team Leader) and Jake Bonin. To find out how the winners felt, you can watch a video of 4 Team, or visit York Entrepreneurs’ website to find out more about the society and its aims, as well as past events. For more information on Enterprise at York, see the York Student Enterprise and York CETLE websites.