The winners of the second Springboard Startup Fund for University of South Wales (USW) Graduate Startups 2020/21 have been unveiled.
Designed to give support to graduate entrepreneurs, and specifically to provide seed funding to USW graduates to start a new business, the awards also demonstrate USW’s commitment to supporting the Class of 2020 graduates, who are facing the most severe economic downturn in a generation, with a new Entrepreneurship Pitching Fund.
All those who entered the awards had to be 2020 USW graduates and be either at pre-start-up stage, or within the first six months of trading.
The winners faced tough competition, with a total of 35 applications – which is a threefold increase from the first round in November 2020.
Eight of strongest business ideas were shortlisted to pitch to a panel of judges chaired by Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, Assistant Pro Chancellor at USW; two USW graduate entrepreneurs - Kevin Mansell-Abell, founder of That Media Group, and Cherry Barber-Mansell, founder of The White Tent Company - and Francesca James, founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.
Professor Jones-Evans said: ““Enterprise and entrepreneurship are a key part of our activities at the University of South Wales and it was great to see that an increasing number of our graduates are now taking the leap to working for themselves.
“The quality of the applications for this round of Springboard funding was exceptionally high and I am delighted that some exceptional new businesses are being supported by the University.”
What the winners said…
Matt Rees – I’ve Gone Local - £2,500
“I’ve Gone Local is a website that makes it easier to shop locally while supporting independent businesses. Imagine if you could, putting all of your favourite products from your best-loved local shops into one virtual basket without the hassle of signing up to multiple websites or trawling social media for hours on end. Now you can.
“This award will allow me to continue to develop the website so that we can deliver a first-class experience for both the customer and our local businesses.”
www.ivegonelocal.com - Facebook: @ivegonelocal - Instagram: ivegonelocal - Twitter: @ivegonelocal
Diana Finlay (below) and Sebastian Gallop (bottom) & seven other USW creative industries graduates - Jamie Lamb (Game designer), Owen Withey, Red Corder-Duffield (Game Designer), George Laxon, Georgia Daniels, Curtis Brigden, and Rebecca Woods - Define Logic Studios - £2,500
Diana Finlay: “Define Logic Studios is our working game
studio, with our first title, Scientific
Shutdown, set to release at the end of July and plans to start our next
title very soon. Define Logic Solutions will be our outsourcing company,
working with other indie developers and other businesses to bring their digital
ideas to life. Our award will allow us to purchase the remaining licences we
need to create professional content, register and acquire our business name,
logo, and a website domain name, and social media marketing to promote our game
and our services.”
www.definelogicstudios.com - Twitter: @DefineLogicUSW - Instagram: @DefineLogicUSW
Jake Spanswick (below) and Quinn Byron-Dyer (bottom) – Blank Pixel Games - £2,000
Jake Spanswick: ”Blank Pixel Games Ltd is an Indie Video Game Studio dedicated to developing and publishing unique video games used for instructional and educational scenarios. Specialising in Unreal Engine, we hope to bridge the gap between education and gaming entertainment. We are immensely grateful to be selected for this award, as it will allow us to upgrade our outdated equipment which will speed up our design processes.”
Chloe Carter – Because Animals Are Worthwhile - £1,600
“When I began my higher education journey as an equine student, I did not realise that I would have the chance to marry my love of animals and helping others. With the Springboard Start-Up Award, I was able to create a Social Enterprise with my peer, Vanessa Hall, that creates eco-friendly essential pet care items.
“As so many animals find themselves in adoption shelters throughout the UK, especially in these harder times, we wanted to help them, and their magnificent army of volunteers and workers, and set up 'Because Animals are Worthwhile'. Making donations to local charities easy, each time you buy one of our products, you automatically donate an identical one to an animal in need to a local shelter.
“The Springboard Startup Award will help us to develop our first product, which will be eco-friendly shampoo soap bars, we are extremely lucky to be students of the University and thankful that they have chosen us amongst a sea of so much talent to broaden our horizon. We plan to launch soon, so please follow our social media.”
Twitter @AnimalsAreWW - Instagram @animalsareworthwhile – Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/animalsareworthwhile/
Damaris Landers - Biodivers - £1,400
“Biodivers is a scuba diving, yoga, and vegan pizza experience operating across South Wales. Our customers can expect a day filled with yoga for divers on the beach, followed by two guided scuba dives at one of our carefully selected diving locations, an optional beach clean and to finish off their day with a freshly-made vegan pizza. We are passionate about the environment, therefore, all products and services offered by Biodivers are eco-focused and eco-friendly.
The award will help us to gain our final Divemaster qualifications, needed to guide other scuba divers around the beautiful bays of South Wales.”
Instagram @biodivers_uk - Twitter @BiodiversUK – Facebook | Biodivers