Young Enterprise on show at Salford
The University of Salford Business School is gearing up to welcome sixteen teams from eight universities as it hosts the NW finals of the Young Enterprise competition.
Taking place on Wednesday in the Maxwell building, those teams competing will be put through their paces as they pitch their business ideas, with the top three teams going through the national final, to be held later this year. The winners of that will go on to represent the UK in a European final.
Representing Salford this year are two teams with innovative business ideas.
First up is Team Stylish, who have developed a prototype of a web application which aims to help retailers reduce the number of returns they receive each year, boosting profits as well as helping the environment.
Stylish offers a unique experience for consumers to ‘try before they buy’ with the use of augmented reality. The application creates an avatar based on measurements inputted by the customer, which then depicts how the article of clothing would look on their body type.
James Llyod, senior manager of team Stylish said: “There’s loads of potential for growth within this area of the industry.
“Not everyone can imagine what certain clothing might look like on their body shape and if it’ll be flattering, so this app allows consumers to visualise that and be more mindful when online shopping.”
The second team aiming to get to London for the national final is Hear n’ Protect. This four-man team have developed a prototype ear protector that dampens the vibrations in the ears but doesn’t affect the sound quality. The hope it could help the nearly 1 in 6 people who suffer with hearing problems due to excessive loud noise at work or home.
The team, made up of band members and DJs, are very aware of the amount of damage that can be caused by being constantly exposed to loud noise. They bought a 3D printer, taught themselves how to use it, and produced over 100 different designs to come up with one they feel works best.
Team member Jake Naylor said: “These are single use things that we could sell in bulk to business and festivals, who could then give them to customers as part of the ticket price for an event. Current products on the market cost between £15-20, so ours is much cheaper and it would show that these businesses have their customers welfare at heart.
“We’re nervous but confident about the final, we’ve done a lot of preparation and it would be great to represent the North West in the national final if we get there.”
Dr Jonathan Owens, who is the Module Leader for the Level 5 Multi-Level Team Project in the Business School, said: “Working alongside Salford Academics and Young Enterprise Business Advisors the module originally set up 10 student businesses. This was the start of a real business experience and learning journey for these students, where they would find themselves making real business decisions that would take them in different directions.
“Salford’s Industrial and Enterprise Strategy is closely aligned to providing these kind of learning environments for our students where they can experience real-word outcomes within their academic journey, so it was great to see this in working really well within this module.
“Overall, I feel it has been a great learning and experience for everyone involved and all 10 business should be very proud of what they have achieved. However, for ‘Hear n Protect’ and ‘Stylish’, the NW Regional final awaits them, and no matter what happens, the Module Team and the Business School are very proud of all their hard work and achievement so far. I am sure we will be hearing of both companies by the end of this, and we them every success and good luck in the Final.”
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