The Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) has had a bumper crop of entries from students to this year’s Fresh Ideas competition, which closed for entries on 30 January. Fresh Ideas is the national early stage business competition for students with innovative ideas for new products, businesses or social enterprises. Overall entries have risen by 25%, reaching nearly 400 entries from Universities and Colleges across Scotland, covering a huge range of innovative new products and services that have the potential to have a big impact.
Through the course of the competition, students develop their ideas with the help of SIE’s Business and Innovation Advisors, with the result that all of the entrants benefit from the experience, whether they choose to continue with their idea after graduation or take the skills they’ve gained to a graduate job.
The Fresh Ideas Competition plays a vital role in identifying young entrepreneurs with potential, giving them the right support and encouragement to take them to the next level. Having started on their entrepreneurial journey with SIE, many students go on to further success with private investment and significant wins in more advanced competitions like the Converge Challenge and Scottish EDGE.
Commenting on the 2016-17 entries, Fiona Godsman, CEO of SIE, said:
“This year has been a fabulous one for Fresh Ideas. We’ve received a huge number of high quality entries, an impressive 25% increase from last year. We know that many of the students taking the first step with us today will be the big success stories of tomorrow and we’re looking forward to helping them make it happen.”
The winners and highly commended entries from January will join those from October, November and December and move forward to stage 2 of the competition and the chance to win a £1000 cash prize. This year will also see additional prizes recognising the best ideas meeting Scottish Government priorities; Healthcare, Food & Drink, and the Creative Industry.
The competition winners will be announced at the SIE Annual Awards Dinner on 22 March.