"When I return to Bolton School to talk to pupils about entrepreneurship, my message is to 'go for it'. This is an attitude that I had instilled in me during my time at the school where my curiosity was fuelled and I became interested in ideas."

Caroline Plumb - CEO of Fresh Minds and youngest woman on Management Today's '35 under 35' list

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iControl Impresses Judges to Win KPMG Enterprise Trophy

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The annual KPMG Enterprise Trophy pitted six teams of Sixth Formers against one another in front of a final Dragons Den style panel of judges. Each team had developed their concepts and business plans to include profit projections, marketing plans, and details on how the ‘new business loan’ would be spent.

They earned their place in the final by taking part in the Business Competition Day last week, when thirty teams competed and the six best were chose to present at the final. The competition followed on from the Boys and Girls’ Div undertaking the Business Enterprise and Skills Training (BEST) course, which the girls completed in School and the boys at Patterdale Hall in the Lake District. 

Over the course of the evening, each team delivered professional and compelling pitches in front of an audience of parents, Bolton School staff, and their peers. The judges this year were Stephanie Foster, Director and career coach at Rivington Associates and a former Bolton School parent, and Luke Bradley and Vicki Hill from KPMG. They challenged each group with incisive questions, which really made the Sixth Form boys and girls think on their feet to come up with excellent arguments in favour of the product or service they were offering.

The overall winners of the competition were iControl, a team consisting of Yasin Ahmad, Chris Brownlow, Amina Jameel, Neha Jeyam, Emma Rayner and Oliver Rhodes. iControl is an app designed to “Make light work of keeping your house safe” by giving a customer control of the lighting in their home from anywhere in the world. It would be used while on holiday to deter burglars.

The iControl team had done an impressive amount of research into burglary and security measures, for example finding out that most house thieves admitted that they would not have committed the crime if there had been a sign that someone was at home, and that a home invasion occurs every thirteen seconds. One of the questions the judges brought up was the fact that similar apps for controlling home lighting are already available; but the Sixth Formers were quick to point out that these apps are targeted at a younger market which is typically more interested in gadgets. However, they planned to target iControl at those who are more likely to be home owners: 35-55 year olds. They had conducted extensive research into this market and how they could distribute information about the app to them, as well as making it intuitive and easy to use.

This was what particularly won over the judges: the idea of targeting an audience that is currently untapped and predicted to grow in the near future. Mr Bradley commented, “This is great if you’re going on holiday, and I think my Mum and Dad would really love this idea.”

In second place and also receiving a prize were Twenty20 Vision, a company which would produce glasses for people suffering from Irlen Syndrome, also known as scotopic sensitivity syndrome, Visual Stress. Lenses are used to help to combat the effects, but these are currently only produced in the US and can take five months to reach the UK. Twenty20 Vision would be able to supply lenses in a week. As well as helping millions and ensuring that learning is not impeded, this also reduces the environmental impact of shipping the lenses and frames. The judges were particularly impressed with the team’s introduction to their pitch, which clearly outlined the structure it would take.

The other teams in the final were Air Cook, a user-friendly app linked to a cooker which helps to ensure that cooking is time-efficient, environmentally friendly and always produces good results; DIY Nails, which offers customers with customisable nail-polish which can be produced to match any colour; TRapp, the translation app that listens to two sides of a conversation between people speaking different languages and translates appropriately and immediately; and Nightflyer, bringing night-time golfing experiences to the UK with luminous balls and lights to mark out different areas of the course. Each team gave an impressive and well thought out pitch, which included all of the information required to form a complete business plan.

At the end of the evening, Ms Foster congratulated all of the pupils for producing such a range of good quality ideas and pitches. She was particularly impressed with the improvements between their first pitches at the start of the process and the presentations at the end.

Ms Hill also commented on the pupil’s performance: “All of you should be really proud of yourselves, but especially those of you who don’t have as much confidence and who found the pitching really hard. Well done.”

At the end of the evening, thanks were offered to KPMG for sponsoring the competition alongside Bolton School, and for providing support in the Autumn term, and helping to judge and award the prizes.

 

Photo:

Back Row (left to right): Mr Luke Bradley, Yasin, Chris, Oliver, and Ms Stephanie Foster
Front Row (left to right): Amina, Emma, Neha, and Ms Vicki Hill

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The judges with the winning team, iControl (see below for details)

The judges with the winning team, iControl (see below for details)

Runners up Twenty20 Vision take on the judges

Runners up Twenty20 Vision take on the judges' questions

The DIY Nails presentation

The DIY Nails presentation