Held at the Royal Institution in Mayfair, NewVIc students competed with twenty other sixth forms and colleges in London.
The Big Idea Challenge was established four years ago, run by London Metropolitan University with involvement and coordination from NewVIc’s Student Development team. NewVIc had two small groups of Level 2 Art and Design and Business students take part. Both groups successfully reached the final stages of the competition with their business ideas – Bracelet Alert – a stylish bracelet that can be used to test for date-rape drugs in your drink. This idea won the Grand Champions award and was presented by Levi Roots, known for his Reggae Reggae sauce success and song following his pitch in Dragon’s Den.
The second group business idea – Active Energy Clothing – using built in solar technology in clothing to harness power from the sun and charge electronic devices on the go – won the People’s Choice award with no surprise as they had great feedback during market research and from their peers. This award is so prestigious as they were voted for the most throughout the world. The global civil society were able to watch the pitches online and vote for their favourite ideas.
The Big Idea Challenge allows college students who dream about starting their own business one day, the tools to plan and put together an idea and how it solves real problems and wows customers in a competition in the capital. Students learn how to develop their ideas into a powerful business model and pitch it to the world.
The Big Idea Challenge programme includes an all-day boot camp with the teams behind the top ideas from each college hosted by NatWest Bank. Students have coaching to develop their idea and learn how to pitch it from incredible mentors. The best ideas then get made into a 60 second video pitch which is voted on by the public and the winners walk away with prizes including free websites, internships and business mentoring to turn their idea into a reality! This programme has allowed NewVIc students to develop the ‘future skills’ employers look for including; leadership, resilience, collaboration, creativity and emotional intelligence. Students have gone a step further by developing their skills to become future employers with their business ideas.
“We’re so happy in winning as we spent a considerable amount of time making it a success and learning so much in the process. Our aim is to tell people especially young people to be aware when out and about as drink spiking is still happening.” Luisa, Level 2 Art and Design student
Steven Sheard, Business tutor said: “It was great to see students in the start of the process from brainstorming to growing in confidence when pitching their ideas. The Active Energy Clothing and Bracelet Alert are great business ideas to transform the market and our students are prepared to take it to the next step”.