Student business competition winner launches company

A third year business student from the University's School of Management has swapped the lecture theatre for the city’s Innovation Centre, as he prepares to launch his own company.

James Courtney, aged 21, is the winner of the University’s student business plan competition and is now putting his pitch into practice, running his own restaurant reward scheme at the Innovation Centre during the placement year of his Business Administration degree.

LUX is a premium dining rewards app that enables customers to find high quality restaurants nearby and earn a range of rewards from Red Letter Day when dining at them.

The free app enables restaurants to drive high spending customers to their restaurants during quieter midweek times, building a customer base of affluent working professionals.

The company is planning to have a positive impact on the local community, enabling customers to donate their points to local charities. LUX is looking to partner with organisations in the local area and will donate an additional amount to their chosen charities if they endorse it to their employees.

James is running his Lux restaurant reward company from the University of Bath Innovation Centre

James is halfway towards his investment total of £150,000 and is seeking final investment as he prepares to launch his business in the Bath and Bristol area in the coming months.

This is the second year that James has taken the top prize in the student business plan competition. His LUX business is a development of last year’s business idea, and he impressed the panel of judges with detailed financial projections and a solid, well-researched business strategy.

James wins a prize trip to New York and San Francisco funded and supported by University alumni based in the United States. He will network with University alumni who are running businesses and working for some of the world’s biggest companies, including Facebook, JPMorgan Chase and Eventbrite.

James, from Saltford near Bath, said: “Winning the business plan competition for a second year running is very special, particularly as my business is actually becoming a reality.

“The competition has helped me to develop my idea, provided me with links to investors, and given me the confidence to go forward with the idea.

"I can’t wait for the trip to the States. Experiencing the start-up scene in San Francisco has been a dream for me in the last couple of years and I'm very much looking forward to meeting some inspirational alumni out there."

Based at the Innovation Centre, James has access to the Centre’s business expertise and support services, and is mentored by Siobain Hone, the University’s Enterprise Education Manager. Siobain said: “James is a fantastic example of how far you can go when you get involved with enterprise initiatives as a student. He has taken full advantage of every opportunity to learn from the professionals who support the business plan competition and is now very well placed to embark on his own entrepreneurial career.”

Professor Veronica Hope Hailey, Dean of the School of Management, added: “We’re very proud to count James as one of our students. We’re accustomed to our students spending their placement year at some of the UK’s most prestigious companies and organisations, but to spend the year setting up and running your own business is an impressive undertaking and we wish him every success.”

To find out more about LUX visit the website at and email James Courtney if you are interested in discussing the opportunity to invest in the company.

The business plan competition is run by the University’ student enterprise office, in partnership with Deloitte.

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