First year Business Plan Competition

A waterproof device to use with mobile technology recently won the School of Management and Languages First Year Business Plan Competition.

The Business Plan Competition

The Business Plan competition, which is sponsored by Diageo, involves over 400 students studying the School's first year Enterprise and its Environment course. Students work together in teams to develop a business idea and then prepare a presentation outlining the business case for their idea. The course is designed to bridge the gap between theory and practice as well as give students early experience of commercial enterprise.

The course co-ordinator, Linda McGilvray, and the team of tutors whittled down over 50 plans and presentations to select the best five for the final judging process.

Support from Diageo

As sponsors Diageo not only donated prizes but also had their European Supply Commercial Finance Team provide commercial input and feedback to the final judging process. George Kerr, Commerical Finance Manager, and Siobhan Thorn, Procurement Analyst, from Diageo's European Supply Commercial Finance Team were part of the judging panel.

George commented: This is the first year that Diageo sponsored the competition, and also the first time Siobhan or I have been involved in judging something like this, so we didn't know what to expect. I have to say I was both surprised and impressed by the standard of the presentations and the written business cases shared with us beforehand. We saw real evidence of commercial understanding and a flair for getting the message across to the audience. All in all this reflected very well on all of the participants and the tutors who supported the students through the competition."

The winners

Following the presentations the judging panel announced the 2013 winners to be:

1. EQ Headphones Waterproof device to use with mobile technology
2. Helping Hand Charger and desk top tidy device
3. Edgy Veggie Firm dedicated to the supply of healthy food

Katriona Myhill from the winning team, EQ headphones, said "It has been such an exciting opportunity to take part in a real business competition and has made our first year at Heriot-Watt incredibly rewarding."

Course co-ordinator, Linda McGilvray, said "Once again I was extremely impressed by the effort and hard work of all the students on the course. The competitive element provides not only an invaluable learning experience that helps to motivate the students' performance, but is also an ideal platform for early experience of real-life business scenarios."