Student ideas ignite SPARK Awards

12 April 2018

SPARK group awards

Students with great business ideas have been celebrating wins at Cardiff University’s very first SPARK Awards.

The evening showcased innovations including compressible food storage containers, energy-saving tech to reduce household fuel poverty, and an online ticketing system for Football clubs to combat black market ticket sales.

Organised by Cardiff University Enterprise and Start-up, and presented by Stifyn Parry, the Awards saw students and alumni with entrepreneurial and social flare competing for a prize pot of £20,000 in cash and support.

A £3,000 prize and an industry consultancy package from S3 Advertising went to CAUKIN, a student-led design group, researching, designing and constructing self-led, small build social projects based mainly in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

'We're really grateful to have won Venture again,” said Joshua Peasley, from CAUKIN. “The work that Cardiff University Student Enterprise does really pushes the business forward and we urge all students to pursue their ideas with the team. The money will go towards training more team members to further their construction skills so we can help more communities abroad.”

Winning £2,000 for a great business plan were Samuel Stainton and team with their company ‘Tŷ Ni’, which aims to help reduce UK fuel poverty. Providing energy-saving tech to reduce energy consumption, Tŷ Ni’s social arm installs subsidised boxes into houses deemed ‘fuel poor.’ The venture has been successfully trialled in Cardiff’s Grangetown area.

Sam said “Winning Spark concept is an unbelievable opportunity for both myself and TyNi. It has cemented the fact that our project is an idea with potential. The money will be used to purchase stock that can be built into our product and used to design the new code for understanding energy.”

The Future Entrepreneur Award, sponsored by Alactrity Foundation, went to Ommlayla Gilani, who won a stay for two at the Celtic Manor. Ommelyla is  setting up her own VFX Company, specialising in video filming and motion graphics.

Student Paddy Gardner won the Making a Difference Award for his work with Enactus Cardiff to provide Welsh refugees and asylum seekers with a Cardiff University accredited certificate and expanding the team to include projects looking at food waste with their Coffee Candle Company.

And Alumni Entrepreneur went to George Pearce, who set up IAMP Media, a specialist web development consultancy. Now in his fifth year out of University, George has 12 full time equivalent employees and two sustainable and profitable businesses.

Sean Hoare, Acting Enterprise Manager, Cardiff University Student Enterprise, said: “Our first ever SPARK Awards have helped to showcase the range and depth of ideas developed by Cardiff’s talented student entrepreneurs. They are not only helping to build commercial businesses, but are striving to tackle social issues in Wales and overseas.”

SPARK 2018 was sponsored by Santander UniversitiesS3 AdvertisingTramshedTech and Paperclip.