Business students from Wiltshire College reaped the rewards for their entrepreneurial efforts at an awards evening celebrating the talents of young people in Trowbridge.
Dylan Coyne, Natalia Orzechowska, Gemma Allen-Miles, Jack Ireland and Clare Attewell all faced the judges in a dragons den style challenge back in June and as finalists were invited to the event hosted by GO FISH at Trowbridge Town Hall on Tuesday 26th July.
Working in groups or as individuals, the Level 3 students were tasked with turning a sweet jar into a business and pitched their ideas for a treasure hunt app, egg separator and personalised gifts to three successful local business owners.
Speaking at the awards evening, Steve Davis, director of Office Evolution who generously donated the prize money and was one of the judges, said: “We were incredibly impressed at all the ideas that were presented to us by the students and found it very hard to decide a winner.
“As well as us looking for a good idea, the students were very articulate, presented well and looked incredibly smart.
“It was a great experience for myself to see what students from the college are about and I believe that all of them would be a great asset to the business world in the future.”
After much deliberation, the judges, who also included Jordan Daykin, MD of GripIt and best known for being the youngest ever entrepreneur to bag an investment in the TV series Dragon’s Den and Bev Glover, MD of Whitehorse Employment, revealed the overall winner as Dylan Coyne.
The 19 year-old from Westbury, who was presented with a £250 cheque, certificate and medal, said: “I was very surprised to have won but really happy.
“I did put a lot of work and effort into developing my business idea and I know the other groups did too.
“Their ideas were fantastic so it means a lot to have been recognised.”
After the summer holidays Dylan will begin a degree in Business and Marketing at Bournemouth University.
He said: “I intend to explore my business idea further at university and it is viable I look forward to taking it forward.
“This was a fantastic opportunity in addition to everything I learned at college to gain extra skills and knowledge and I am really pleased to have been a part of it.”
The judges were so impressed at the students’ work they decided to present the runners up with £100 for each team.
Natalia, who was also later awarded a £200 Going the Extra Mile award sponsored by Howards Travel, said: “Wow, I can’t believe that I received these awards.
"It was such a great experience and I feel that I have learned so much from it.
“David at GO FISH and my lecturer Pippa have been very supportive.”
Pippa Thomas, business lecturer at the Trowbridge and Chippenham campuses, said: “I am very proud of the students’ success for taking advantage of this opportunity and pleased that the college has been a part of the project which has linked us together with employers – it was very successful.”
Trowbridge Mayor Deborah Halik said she was delighted to have been invited to the celebration evening commenting: “It is wonderful to see the people in Trowbridge working together and the awards evening was a testament to all the wonderful young people here.”
Photo Credit – Thank you to George Daulman from GO FISH who supplied some of the photographs on display.