Fast food discount card tops student business plan competition

A digital discount card for premium fast food outlets has taken first prize in the student Business Plan competition.

James Courtney, a second-year Business Administration student, wins a week-long trip to New York and Boston to network with Bath alumni in some of the world’s biggest companies.

James based his idea on the successful and rapidly growing business model of the Tastecard restaurant discount scheme, applying it to premium fast food outlets.

Organised by Enterprise Bath, the Students' Union Enterprise Department, the competition attracted over 50 ideas. Competitors entered a speed dating event to be paired with a business mentor and attended a business dinner hosted by sponsors Deloitte.

They had the opportunity to pitch their plan to Bath graduates now working as consultants at Deloitte, to receive valuable feedback ahead of the final presentation of their fincancial projections and business and marketing strategies to the panel of judges. 

A panel of top business judges (Chair, Gavin Eddy, from work-hub provider Forward Space; Diane Aderyn, University Director of Finance and Commercial Services; and Colin Clarkson-Short from Deloitte) were impressed by James’ thorough and detailed plan, and the quality of his presentation.

Colin Clarkson-Short, Partner at Deloitte, and Head of Consulting for the South West and Wales, said: "Deloitte has supported the Business Plan Competition for the last nine years and each year the standard has got better. This year it was hard to separate the four finalists. All had prepared comprehensive viable plans, gave great presentations, and demonstrated a commitment to launch within the next six months. James’ plan just had the edge with the right depth and detail across all the required elements. He is a worthy winner."

James was mentored by Bath and Deloitte alumnus Matt Parfitt, now Senior Accountant – Employee Taxes at Nationwide, who added: “James needed very little guidance as he had already done so much work and was so passionate about his idea it that it made my role very easy. I immensely enjoyed teaming up with James - working with someone with such contagious passion for something is a truly inspirational experience.”

James, aged 20 from Saltford near Bath, will set off on his trip to the States, supported by University alumni based in the United States, in July. In the meantime he has been invited to pitch his idea to the Deloitte digital team.
 
James said: "It was an honour in itself just getting to the final four, there were some fantastic ideas! I'm hoping to take on the valuable feedback given by the judges and push the idea forward in the coming months. Developing the app over the summer and then testing the market here in Bath.

"The prize is amazing. I've never been to the USA before, so it will be an eye-opening experience. Having the opportunity to discuss my idea with University alumni based out there should be extremely useful in launching my idea as a feasible business. I can't wait!

“My parents’ entrepreneurial nature has driven me towards studying business and sparked my enthusiasm for starting up my own business. Hopefully now this can become a reality.

"I'd like to thank Deloitte for the opportunity and for all the University staff who helped to organise this amazing competition."

James is keen to hear from anyone interested in investment or development of the app by email at jc775@bath.ac.uk  or via uk.linkedin.com/in/jcourtney17.

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