The competition, run by Enterprise SU is open to all students at Queen’s who have exciting, new business ideas and encourages students to be more entrepreneurial during their time at university.
The competition is sponsored by PWC, Ormeau Business Park, Danske Bank & Queen’s Graduate School.
This year, saw over 80 applications whittled down to a shortlist of the 24 best ideas, by a panel of judges made up of representatives from the competition sponsors.
The nine winners were announced at a prize ceremony held in the Students’ Union. At the event, six entrepreneurial students took part in a 2 minute elevator pitch to win the top prizes ‘Best Overall Business Idea’ and ‘Most Innovative Business Idea’.
With some amazing entries, it is clear that Queen’s students are becoming increasingly entrepreneurial. Looking ahead, the winners will hope to build on their success and attract further interest to make their ideas a reality.
The ‘Best Overall Business Idea’ Award, sponsored by Ormeau Business Park, along with £500 was awarded to a group of students for their creative product ‘AirWear’, an inflatable helmet to increase portability and ease of storage of cycling helmets. A member of the group, Ben Lindsay, had this to say on winning the award, 'getting involved with 'What's the Big Idea?' gave us an opportunity to look at our idea from a business prospective, …[and] we have realised the true money making potential of our concept. It has also opened us up to further competitions…'
The ‘Most Innovative Idea’ Award, also sponsored by Ormeau Business Park, along with £500 was presented to Choon Yvin Tham for his innovative product, ‘EcoBrix’ an ecological brick that promotes building green. Choon said 'it's amazing to be given the opportunity to share an idea on the stage of 'What's the big idea?' that promotes creativity and innovativeness. It's the best launching pad for EcoBrix…’
Patricia McNeill, CEO of Ormeau Business Park said, 'The Ormeau Business Park are proud to act as sponsors for the ninth consecutive year by encouraging under graduates and graduates to develop and nurture their potential ideas… The ‘What’s the Big Idea?’ competition continues to act as a springboard at QUB for budding entrepreneurs to drive innovation, build their capabilities and develop new technologies as they ignite upon their business journey. Our organisation looks forward to working with QUB in 2018 to further develop emerging globally focused business ideas to reach their full potential.
Ailis Mone Technology Consultant at PWC said, 'the ideas put forward by the students were both innovative and of extremely high quality. Every person that pitched was good at telling their own story and explained the importance of their product and how they were solving a real world problem...’
Ian Brankin, Senior Corporate Strategy Manager at Danske Bank expressed, 'Danske Bank were delighted to sponsor the ‘What’s The Big Idea?’ Competition. We were very impressed with both the volume and quality of ideas submitted, highlighting the extent of innovation, creativity and commercial acumen demonstrated by QUB students.'
Enterprise SU hopes to see the competition continue to grow and flourish to give all Queen’s students the opportunity to kick start their ideas!