Swansea University’s Big Pitch Competition awards more than £18,000 to talented student entrepreneurs

Swansea University’s Big Pitch Competition recently returned for the second time this year, offering even more promising student entrepreneurs a platform to take their business ideas to new heights.

Hosted by the University’s Student Enterprise Team, based in Swansea’s Research, Engagement and Innovation Services (REIS), the competition supports student start-ups and showcases the brightest and most innovative of minds.

Held on Wednesday 29 November, in the Taliesin Arts Centre, the event is funded through the University’s partnership with Santander Universities UK.

With a focus on empowering students and graduates with the opportunity to launch and grow their businesses, students can use their allotted three-minute slot to pitch for up to £3,000 in funding, mentorship, and a host of other entrepreneurial support.

The Student Enterprise Team received 45 applications from students and graduates looking to take part in the flagship competition.

Of these, 25 were chosen to present their ideas, ranging from microfibre towels, soft tissue therapy, mechatronics kits, virtual reality training, a bookkeeping app, additive manufacturing and cyber security training.

Emma Dunbar, Head of Engagement, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, said: “This year, we have seen, once again, a large number of high-quality applications and inspiring student enterprise pitches, growing our entrepreneurial community.

“Enterprise is at the heart of Swansea University. As a research-intensive institution, our vision is to be a leading global university that is renowned for empowering individuals to create a positive change in the world through enterprise, innovation, partnership, knowledge exchange, and transformative community engagement. We seek to unlock talent, making it possible and accessible for all, creating an enabling environment that has a lasting legacy of impact and added value. We are proud that this year’s applicants are no exception.”

The Team was joined by an impressive panel of external judges, including:

Kim said: “Returning to Swansea University as a judge for The Big Pitch was a profoundly rewarding experience for me – a bridge between my past as an alumna and my present mission through our work at The CAE.

“Witnessing the innovative spirit of the next generation, particularly their focus on sustainability, was not just inspiring but a reminder of our ongoing responsibility to nurture potential. Their creativity and determination are the building blocks for a thriving local economy in Wales.

“I’m proud to be a part of this journey in fostering a supportive entrepreneurship ecosystem in the region.”

The panel allocated a total of £8,500 through the Santander Universities UK prize fund to five outstanding businesses.

Additionally, a further £10,000 was awarded to seven businesses through the Career Boost programme, a HEFCW-funded project that offers targeted support to students from underrepresented groups.

Every student who pitched also left with an opportunity to build on their ideas, be that tailored business support, a mentor from their industry of choice, or a place on an accelerator programme.

Jean-Louis Button, a third-year BSc Environmental Science and the Climate Emergency student, said: “Being involved with The Big Pitch turned out to be even more valuable than I anticipated. The skills harnessed to put together a pitch, to practise over and over again, and then deliver in front of an esteemed crowd of entrepreneurs and like-minded individuals was a buzz!

“Thanks to the Student Enterprise Team, we now have the crucial business support and funds needed to elevate our concept to the next level.”

Learn more about Student Enterprise at Swansea University.

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