Supporting the UK’s future entrepreneurs

3 June 2014

Supporting the UK’s future entrepreneurs

The Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Reading is pleased to encourage entrepreneurial activity further by launching the first annual Business Idea Competition, co-founded with Pitmans LLP.


Pitmans LLP become co-founders of the first ‘Business Idea Competition’


The UK’s strengthening economic growth is underpinned by innovation and entrepreneurship.  In supporting tomorrow’s entrepreneurs more businesses and jobs are likely to be created which will lead to a stronger economy.

The Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Reading provides a lively hub for teaching and research encouraging and inspiring students across the University of Reading to embrace, develop and apply their entrepreneurial abilities.  A number of entrepreneurial ideas have been born and developed by students at the University with help from the Centre for Entrepreneurship and have gone on to become successful businesses.  One example is of two Electronic Engineering and Cybernetics MSc students who have launched a product which is a mobile phone case that also acts as a speaker.  They are now working with a Silicon Valley company to take the product to market.

This year the Centre is pleased to encourage entrepreneurial activity further by launching the first annual Business Idea Competition, co-founded with Pitmans LLP. Pitmans, which recently was voted The Outstanding Performer in the Law Firm category of the 2014 Thames Valley Business Magazine Deals Awards, offers a wealth of experience advising entrepreneurs.  Pitmans co-founded the Thames Valley Entrepreneurs Club and are an active member of the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce contributing to a variety of advisory groups and bodies.  It was an obvious choice to link up with Pitmans on this new initiative.

Professor Andrew Godley, Director of the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship commented, ‘The University of Reading is committed to developing tomorrow's entrepreneurs, and we are delighted that Pitmans have chosen to support the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship.  The new Business Idea Competition will give all students the chance to learn how to develop their own business idea and make it ready for commercialisation.  The best will get a chance to pitch their idea in front of several of the Thames Valley's leading entrepreneurs.'

The competition launched in late May with individuals or small teams invited to make a short presentation on YouTube about their original business idea and complete a questionnaire.  In early July, five finalists from the applications will be invited to present their business idea to an audience who will vote and cash prizes will be presented to the winning three ideas.  The winners will also have the opportunity to have an appropriate mentor with a view to potentially taking their idea to commercialisation. 

Pitmans is also the first sponsor of the new Entrepreneurship Club which will launch at the prize-giving reception of the Business Idea Competition and is a forum where students, alumni, staff and faculty can come together to share best practice, develop ideas and hear from other entrepreneurs.

Christopher Avery, Managing Partner of Pitmans commented, “We have a depth of experience in guiding new businesses as they take their first steps and as such are delighted to be co-founders of Henley Business School’s new Entrepreneurship Club. We have long been ambassadors for the Thames Valley and believe the School has the credibility, ambition and international reach to build a stronger and more comprehensive support community for entrepreneurs in the region; something that has been lacking for some time.”

Alumni interested in becoming involved in the competition whether to join the audience or offer help to the winning entries should get in touch.

To get in touch please contact: Jurek Sikorski, Business Development Lead & Executive in Residence Phone:  +44(0) 118 378 8188  Email:

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If you have any questions, please contact the Alumni & Development Team by email at or by phone on +44 (0)1491 418 843.