Help for Local Graduate Businesses
The University of Hertfordshire’s annual flare competition, which turns business ideas or newly formed start-ups into reality, launches with a total prize fund of £18,000.
Producing more entrepreneurs than ever before
The competition is in its eighth year and is open to University graduates in the area. The categories include the ‘Business start-up’ challenge where a commercial venture can be created or grown; the ‘Social enterprise’ challenge in which entrants can build an organisation to benefit society and the ‘Imagine an app’ challenge where an innovative app can be designed.
Julie Newlan, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Enterprise and Director of Marketing and Communications, said: “Our University prides itself on helping our students gain employability and entrepreneurial skills in preparation for the world of work. Flare supports our students and graduates with business ideas and start-ups and with the new aspects to this year’s competition; we hope to produce more entrepreneurs than ever before.”
There are two ways for students and graduates to apply, either by submitting a video clip in video booths around the University or online using InterviewStream, software which records entrants with a webcam. The deadline for submitting entries is 17:00 on Friday 1 March 2013. For further information, please visit www.herts.ac.uk/more/flare/home.cfm.
There are three rounds to the competition with feedback and advice given at each stage. A winner from each category will be selected and awarded £2,000. Two overall flare winners will then be chosen and awarded £5,000 each. A £2,000 cash prize will also be awarded to the business idea with a historical focus, which is sponsored by the UH Heritage Hub.
Last year's flare winner
Last year’s flare winner was graduate Lucy Clark. The 26 year-old from St. Albans was presented with the coveted title of ‘flare, Entrepreneur of the Year 2012’ and awarded a prize of £10,000 cash in recognition of her entrepreneurial approach to her business ‘Heaven is a Cupcake’. Lucy said: “Entering flare was one of the best things I could have done for my business. With the prize money I now have new equipment and have modernised my kitchen. I am also in the process of starting cupcake classes, which is one of the things I said I wanted to do.”