Santander Universities award two student businesses funding

Creative design agency, Ink and Tom Rotherham Music come out on top in Enterprise Placement Year elevator pitch competition

Three young entrepreneurs from the University of Huddersfield have received funding from Santander Universities after winning a competitive elevator pitch competition.

The competition was open to all 12 businesses on the University’s Enterprise Placement Year (EPY).  First place of £350.00 was awarded to Ink, a creative design agency run by Nicole Rawson and Matthew Jones.  Second place of £150.00 went to Tom Rotherham of Tom Rotherham Music.

The University of Huddersfield’s EPY is an alternative to a conventional employee focused placement experience, where 3rd year undergraduate students spend the year exploring, researching and starting their own business or self-employment opportunity. The programme is delivered and supported by the University’s Enterprise Team and is one of a range of services they provide free of charge to current students and graduates of up to 5 years to encourage enterprising and employable graduates.

One important element of the programme is to assist students with developing the necessary skills to create an effective and persuasive ‘elevator pitch’ to communicate the purpose of the product or service, its benefits to the customer, and the competitive advantage it offers.

The Santander Universities Global Division continues to support and manage Santander’s commitment to higher education. Through the agreement between Santander and the University of Huddersfield they fund research scholarships both within the UK and overseas, give funding to develop new technology or enhance existing digital technology, fund work placements and internships and also support enterprise focused activities. For more information about Santander Universities visit their web page. 

Inspired by the previously run Santander 60 Second Pitch Competition, the Enterprise Team decided to run its own internal competition for the EPY 2015/16 cohort. Each of the 12 businesses on the programme created and filmed their elevator pitch and a short list and final winners were selected by panels of both internal and external judges. (You can view Ink’s pitch here and Tom’s pitch here.)

The prize-winners all had some advice to offer future competitors.  “Make your pitch really creative,” said Tom, from Tom Rotherham Music.  “If it stands out from all of the rest, the judges will have something to remember you by,” he said.

Both businesses said the prize-money was going to be spent on developing company hardware to further their potential and to keep up with competitors.

The Enterprise Team said they are extremely grateful to Santander for their on-going support of the activities of the service and the funding which contributes towards the Proof of Concept grants and competitions such as this.

To find out more about the Enterprise Team, its services and how it can assist you in exploring all aspects of self-employment, freelancing and business start-up, please visit

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