University of Birmingham awards entrepreneurial students

An enterprising student at the University of Birmingham has been awarded funding to support development of their business idea.

The ‘Plan B’ Competition celebrates students with entrepreneurial ideas and vision, who after receiving business training will be better informed of how to devise and communicate a clear plan to achieve their goal.

Over 30 students/teams were shortlisted and invited to present their ideas in front of a panel of expert judges from private business and staff at the University of Birmingham.

This year the winner of the Plan B Student Innovation Competition was Jonathan Driscoll for his innovative web-based technological idea.  He has now received a prize of £1250 from the University to develop his idea.  He beat three other hopefuls who were each winners in their own categories to become the overall winner of the competition.

Jonathan Driscoll, pictured here with Stuart Richards, Director of Hospitality and Accommodation Services and Eluned Jones, Director of Careers Network at the University of Birmingham, said:  

Plan-B-competition‘The Plan B programme is an excellent way to bring focus and progression to an idea. We often get sensitive or single track minded with our ideas, but having an outside opinion from someone with experience is invaluable. Winning the programme is obviously a great experience, recognition of my hard work and access to funding that will kick start my business, but the comments and feedback from the pitch day itself is more valuable; so in that sense, everybody who takes part is a winner for themselves.’

Guest speaker Andrew Garner, who has substantial success in enterprise and has taught Career Management at Business School’s all over the world from Harvard to Singapore and alumnus of the University of Birmingham spoke about his career and life experiences, leaving the students motivated and with an appetite to achieve their business aspirations.

Category winners:

Improving the Campus Experience – Joseph Saggese

Community and Public Improvement Award – Chris Showande

Technology Award – Jonathan Driscoll

Commercial Business – Nic Gandy and Edward Cumberland

Mark-e-Test award -  Murray Schofield

Prize Draw of £100 – Chris Showande

The competition was launched on the 18 January 2013.  Due to an outstanding response, 31 students and their teams were shortlisted to compete for the top prize of the 2013 innovation competition on Wednesday 20 March 2013.

For further information on the Entrepreneurship & Innovation (Careers Network) at the University of Birmingham please contact +44 (0)121 414 2678,

Thank you to our supporter: Santander and our sponsors:  Marketest, Hospitality & Accommodation Services, Unltd and BizzInn for making this competition possible.