Student serves up winning business idea

A University student could see his business idea used in bars across the country, after winning a competition organised by the University’s Entrepreneur Club (BANTER).

Jason Malone, who has worked as a barman alongside his studies, spotted the inefficiencies of current alcohol distribution processes and has designed a cheaper, greener system.

23 year-old Jason, a recent Innovation & Engineering Design graduate, hopes to build a business around his ideas and is keeping the details under wraps while he applies for patents to cover his designs and develops them for manufacture.

Competitors worked with a business mentor to develop their business plan and faced four rounds before winning the chance to pitch their idea to a panel of three judges: Mark Roach, a consultant at the global professional services organisation, Deloitte, sponsors of the event; Gavin Eddy, Director of local company ForwardSpace; and Ron Humphreys, Director of Bath Ventures at the University.

He won £1,000 for his Core & Grove Beverage Technology.

Jason said: “I’m really proud to have won. I know I have a good idea backed up with some sound designs and a lot of market research, but I was up against some really tough competition. It’s been a fantastic learning experience and the advice and support I’ve received my mentors Michael Davis and Michael Collins puts me in a strong position to take things further.”

Runners-up in the competition were: Dominic Povey a Mechanical Engineering graduate for his Bath Soup Company; and Nicolas Carey, a final year student in International Management & Modern Languages for his Take Note! eco-friendly notepads free to students and carrying banner adverts.

Ron Humphreys, Director of Bath Ventures, said: "Jason had a real grasp of his subject which was fully illustrated by the quality of his business plan, the detail of his financial projections and the vitality of his presentation. He could answer every question thrown at him from the judging panel. Although we were unanimous in our decision we felt that Jason won against very stiff competition - the other two finalists were superb."

Jason and fellow finalist Dominic are running the Bath Soup Company canteen at Milsom Place in Bath, with another graduate Ed Smyth. They are offering fresh homemade soups, salads, sandwiches and smorgasbords made from local produce. The company sprang from a student entrepreneur competition last year and is currently championing local food producers in a month-long event celebrating the best in the west.

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