Business Venturing 2013 winners announced

L-R: Jill Pattle, Professor Derek Pattle, Kristell Albert, Kamilla Mikuliszyn, Alexandre de Martino; Ian Collins, Bank Of Scotland, and in the foreground Antoine Carles and Felix Li.

Business Venturing is a 3rd year course in the School of Management and Languages that aims to provide hands-on experience of entrepreneurship and an understanding of the entrepreneurial process. Students work in groups to come up with a business idea and put together a business plan which they then have to present to a panel of advisors.

This year 14 groups of students presented their projects to the judging panel and were given feedback on how to improve their business plan.

The four best groups were then selected to present again for the 'Best Business Plan Pitch' which was kindly sponsored by local business Far from the Madding Crowd. The teams participating in the final of Business Venturing 2013 were:

Team nameBusiness Idea
Glas GoBike rental scheme in Glasgow focusing on the Commonwealth Games
My Travel AssistantA service to help you get the most of your holidays
Nutri ZoneHealthy meals and dietary advice
Safety ThirstA device to combat counterfeit drink

Simulating a commercial environment, the judges took on the role of potential investors and each group had 5 minutes to convince the judges that their business had true commercial potential. The judging panel included Ian Collins, Area Director, SME Banking, Bank of Scotland Commercial; Jill Pattle, Owner, Far from the Madding Crowd; Professor Gill Hogg, Deputy Principal, External Affairs; and Professor Derek Pattle, Honorary Professor.

Ian Collins, Area Director with Bank of Scotland Commercial, said, "Bank of Scotland is delighted to support this excellent initiative which helps develop the entrepreneurs and business leaders of the future. We have been involved with the Business Venturing course for a number of years and believe there is mutual benefit in sharing our experience of commerce and banking with the students."

The judging panel awarded the Business Venturing 2013 prize to My Travel Assistant, a web- based travel service designed to organise and plan holidays, delivering resources such as maps, tickets, UK SIM cards, together in a box, awaiting traveller's check in at the hotel.

The winning team consisted of Antoine Carles, CEO; Kristell Albert, Logistics Director; Alexandre de Martino, Procurement Director; Kamila Mikuliszyn, Finance Director; and Felix Li, Marketing Director.

Professor Gill Hogg, Deputy Principal External Affairs, said, "It was a pleasure to listen to these highly focussed and professional presentations. My Travel Assistant gave a very thorough presentation, combining good use of graphics with solid business information to quickly and effectively pitch their business, making them worthy winners."

Professor Derek Pattle, who also runs the Linlithgow based book and gift shop Far from the Madding Crowd with his wife Jill, said, "Far from the Madding Crowd are very pleased to have the opportunity to support Heriot-Watt's Business Venturing course. The format successfully creates a great combination of team-work, original entrepreneur thinking together with the skills required to pull together a viable business plan and then make a 'live' pitch for the necessary funding. Combined with the element of competition all of this gives students an insight into the thought process and thrill of starting a business."