Student’s Business Idea Wins County-Wide Innovation Challenge
Tuesday, 19 November 2019
A University of Worcester student has won a regional competition recognising innovation in business.
Imogen Mornement, who is in the third year of her Business Management degree, received £15,000 worth of prizes after triumphing in the WINN (Worcestershire Innovation) Make it Happen Challenge. This supports grass roots ideas and promotes innovation across the County.
Imogen will now get specific business coaching and dedicated help from local companies whose support formed part of the winning prize.
She said: “This competition win has provided a fabulous vote of confidence in my business idea. The funding and support will be a game changer for me and accelerate my product to market.”
Imogen has designed, developed and launched a collection of made-to-measure underwear and nightwear for women. Her business Penny and a Pearl allows customers to custom make the garments according to an original template design.
The University’s Business School now offers students an opportunity to commercialise their business idea during a gap year placement instead of opting for a year in industry with an employer. Over the last year Imogen has been building her new business offer from the dedicated Business Incubator space, within the Business School.
WINN is a county-based Innovation Programme formed by Worcestershire County Council and the Worcestershire LEP and brings innovators together, acting as a catalyst to create connections and collaborations across the diverse business landscape of Worcestershire. Imogen will receive support as part of her win from sponsors with finance, business planning, social media support, website development, crowdfunding and a co-working space.
The University’s Enterprise Manager, Nick Bancroft, said: “We are so pleased for Imogen. This is a real validation of the University’s new offer for entrepreneurial students and its Business Incubator space. The dedicated workspace connects students to the local business community for support, funding, training programmes, entrepreneurial coaching and provides mentoring and guidance from staff who have experience in this area.”
Jess Antley, Senior Project Manager at WINN, said: “Imogen impressed all of our judges with the depth of market research undertaken, the positioning of her business and her exciting aspirations! We are delighted to be supporting Imogen as she begins working with the breadth of fabulous sponsors, helping her to really ‘Make It Happen’.”
Photo courtesy of WINN