Entrepreneurship Vibes students win £500
Held on 13-17 February, Entrepreneurship Vibes is an integral part of Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship's Business in Practice: Markets, Marketing and Management module, open to first-year undergraduate students across Henley Business School. Co-ordinated by Dr Lebene Soga, Associate Professor of Management Practice and Entrepreneurship, the aim of Entrepreneurship Vibes is to introduce students to creative idea generation and foster an entrepreneurial mindset.
The students were split into 95 teams to develop their business ideas throughout the week, with the programme consisting of workshops, lectures and a series of business clinics designed to challenge and support them towards honing their business idea. Dr Soga highlighted how it was crucial to ensure a business idea is feasible to deliver, viable to make money and desirable to meet a need faced by a group of customers.
NatWest Bank's Regional Ecosystem Manager for South West England, Eleanor Rowley, delivered a session on how to pitch a business idea and how to build a great business mindset. NatWest also provided 11 entrepreneurship mentors who offered support for the student groups throughout the week.
Entrepreneurship Vibes culminated in the NatWest Vibes Competition, where the student teams with the six best business ideas presented them in front of an audience. NatWest sponsored the £500 prize money for first place, with additional prizes of vouchers available for the second and third-placed teams.
Professor Robert Van de Noort, the University of Reading's Vice Chancellor, was among the judges alongside Jurek Sikorski, Executive Director of Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship, and Michael Waddelove, NatWest's Working Capitals Solutions Group Director. First prize was awarded to the team behind Sipsure, a reusable test bracelet that users could utilise to check whether their drink has been spiked.
Dr Lebene Soga said: "This year's Entrepreneurship Vibes has gone beyond my expectations. The presence of our Vice Chancellor as one of the judges was very inspirational to our students and NatWest's sponsorship only made it even sweeter. I am proud of the excellence displayed by our students and can't wait to see many of them in the upcoming IDEAFEST Student Business Idea Competition."