‘Florence Taylor’ scoops £20,000 prize

Lucy-Jane Newman with Chair of the Judges, Professor Donald Davies

Lucy-Jane Newman with Chair of the Judges, Professor Donald Davies

25 March 2014

InvEnterPrize 2014, Aberystwyth University’s version of Dragon’s Den and worth £20,000 to the winner, has been won by Lucy-Jane Newman.

Lucy, a final year student at the Aberystwyth School of Management and Business, was one of 5 finalists to pitch their business proposals to panel of experts on Monday 24 March.

Her winning pitch, ‘Florence Taylor’ – an initiative to manufacture and sell bespoke premium beauty tools hand made in Britain, was highly praised by the panel.

Speaking after the announcement, Lucy said; “I’ve been working relentlessly at this business idea for the last 2 years. With the graduate job market more competitive than ever, winning the InvEnterPrize competition is priceless. It will enable me to create my own job by launching Florence Taylor full-time upon my graduation in July.”

Chair of the Judges, Professor Donald Davies, Aber alumnus and a Founding Director of ML Laboratories plc said; “Our warmest congratulations to Lucy-Jane Newman on winning InvEnterPrize 2014. The panel was impressed with the number and scope of the applications and had a very difficult task in selecting those to make a presentation. There were several innovative proposals and in the view of the panel many had the potential to become viable businesses.”

“Following the success of last year’s winner Jake Stainer from language website Papora, we look forward to following Lucy’s progress as she works to establish ‘Florence Taylor’.”

InvEnterPrize is a novel student business idea competition, designed to give essential backing and financial support to an early stage business idea judged to have ‘star potential’ by a panel of successful Alumni.

Now in its second year, the process started back in November when the 2013/14 InvEnterPrize competition was launched.  Students interested in applying were given the opportunity to take part in business skills workshops, gain inspiration from successful entrepreneurs, and benefit from one to one advice and mentoring opportunities to fine tune their business plan. 

With interest in the competition from all corners of the University, Tony Orme, Enterprise Manager explained how the finalists were selected: “The applications received were reviewed by our judging panel of Alumni who between them have a wealth of entrepreneurial and business acumen, and experience working across a variety of industry sectors.  From the entries received, five were invited to present to the Dragons’ Den to compete for the £20,000 prize package”.

Details of all the finalists who pitched their ideas to the Dragons can be found at: http://jump.aber.ac.uk/?xncg

Working in partnership with the Development and Alumni Relations Office, InvEnterPrize is organised by the Department of Research, Business & Innovation with support from Alumni donations through the Annual Fund 2013/4.

The InvEnterPrize judging panel were:

Jane Clayton - A qualified practising chartered accountant, Jane is also an experienced non-executive Director.  She is currently Chairman of Bay Leisure Limited and Treasurer of St David's Medical Foundation.

Donald Davies - Emeritus Professor in Toxicology at Imperial College London and a Founding Director of ML Laboratories plc (pharmaceuticals) one of the first public biotechnology companies to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Nigel Davies - After graduate and postgraduate studies in Aberystwyth, Nigel worked for 30 years in corporate technology and business. In 2003 he was the founding director of Innoval Technology, which is a UK, technology-based consultancy with a global client base.

Peter Gradwell - Peter studied Software Engineering at Aberystwyth, graduating in 2002. While at University he founded his own internet communications company, Gradwell dot com Ltd.

Huw Morgan - Former Head of Business Banking, HSBC Bank plc, Huw worked for HSBC for the majority of his working life. He was most recently responsible for Business Banking and Franchising for the UK

David Sargen - Managing Partner of Derivatives Risk Solutions LLP, a specialist risk consultancy providing expertise across a broad spectrum of disciplines within the financial industry, with a particular focus on the global derivatives market.

For biographies of the judges, please see: http://jump.aber.ac.uk/?jfcg