Race To Market 2018


31.05.2018

Enterprising students at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David are getting ready to pitch their business ideas to a panel of industry experts at the University’s Race to Market event.

Logo

The event runs from 4th to 8th June and brings together students across the University for a week long Apprentice style business challenge.

This week will see students hone their skills in business development, pitching and networking supported by mentors including entrepreneurial UWTSD graduate Kieran Abbott co-founder of web design and development company Big Lemon Creative, Rebecca Hays from sGRipt, Natasha Middleton from Sew Swansea, Nia Beynon from Nia Beynon Designs, and Beth Thomas from Birchbox.

Alongside developing their own ideas students will work on real-life projects set by local entrepreneurs.

At the end of the week they will pitch their ideas to expert judges, including UWTSD Professor of Practice and Head of Workforce & Organisational Development for the National Wales Informatics Service (NWIS) Wendy Dearing, Darren Rees, the Site Manager for UWTSD's Swansea Waterfront development on behalf of Kier Group in South Wales, and Simon Narbeth who has been Design and Project Manager for BOF for nearly 20 years.

Montage

In the run-up to this year’s Race to Market, we caught up with last year’s winner, Yvonne Shore, whose organic scarves won her a top place in last year’s competition.

Tell us a bit about your experiences of Race to Market last year.

"It was intense - sometimes I did wonder 'why am I doing this?’ -  and also fun. The endless tea, coffee, cake, fruit and water helped with energy levels, not to mention the free lunch.

"With the support of Rhiannon Lleision- Jones, Dr Lewis Pearson and a team of volunteer mentors, including entrepreneurs Kieran Abbott of Big Lemon Creative, Helena Demaria-Williams of Nike, Liz Gordon of Mad Apple Designs, Rebecca Hayes of Sgript and Ross Blytt Jordens of Thunderhat. The week enabled me to refine my skills in business development, pitching and networking.

"By the end of the week I had developed my ideas, to form a commercial pitch to a panel of experienced business judges – Ian Edwards, CEO of the Celtic Manor and Howard Monsen from Kier Construction Wales."

How did you feel when you won and what happened next?

"After I finished my pitch Ian Edwards said he wanted my scarves in his shops I admit things were a little blurry after that! I was still a little out of it when they called my names as a winning pitch!

"I met Will Hewitt, Celtic Manor retail executive. I took a good selection of scarves in three different sizes and my dye book so I could explain the process plus a scarf in a bag to show labelling and packaging. He seemed to like my scarves....a lot...he has ordered a dozen of each size!"

And finally a little bit about what you’ve been doing since?

"Since winning the competition and graduating, I’ve been busy. I’ve had a number of successful exhibitions including at the National Botanical Gardens Wales, Swansea Fringe Festival and Swansea Waterfront Museum.

"I’ve also been busy selling scarves individually through my shop and through Pobbles Crafts and Gifts.

"I currently have an exhibition at Waterfront Museum Swansea Bringing together my eco contact printing and slow stitch with an introduction to my new venture vegetable papyrus paper. I will also be at Arts and Crafts Show Case Pennard in June and will be at the Swansea Fringe once again this year."

Race to Market uses the principles of Life Design a four-step programme developed at UWTSD that uses design thinking techniques to help students make the most of their time at University and prepare for their future. Contact lifedesign@uwtsd.ac.uk for more information.

Further Information

Cate Hopkins

Swyddog y Wasg a’r Cyfryngau| Press and Media Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus| Corporate Communications and PR

Swansea:   Mount Pleasant campus, Mount Pleasant, Swansea, SA1 6ED

Mobile:      07384 467 078

Skype:       Catherine Hopkins

Email:        catherine.hopkins@uwtsd.ac.uk