YBD 2012 Final

Students from Ystalyfera win regional business challenge

Students from Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera in Neath Port Talbot have fought off competition from schools from throughout the Swansea Bay region to win the Swansea Bay Young Business Dragons challenge.

Young Business Dragons Winners 2012

The event, which is sponsored by Wales & West Utilities and organised by Swansea Bay Partnership in association with Careers Wales, has seen over 7,000 students from the Swansea Bay area put forward their creative ideas for a business opportunity around the theme of UK Festivals.

The winning team, ‘Team Zip Away’, beat off stiff competition from five other finalists which included team ‘Water Ones’ from Cwrt Sart Community School, Neath Port Talbot; ‘Endurance’ from Ysgol Glan-y-Mor, Carmarthenshire; ‘Wash Pit’ fromYsgol Bryngwyn School, Carmarthenshire; ‘Solar Light’ from Bishop Vaughan Catholic School, Swanseaand ‘Vintage Vans’ from Ffynone House School, Swansea.

Over a series of heats the teams from 40 schools across the area have expanded their business ideas with the help of mentors from local businesses to develop their business and marketing strategies.

Team Zip Away’ created a unique and practical product for festival goers.  The Zip Away rucksack boasts an integral pillow and sleeping bag.  It has three compartments, two for storage and one for the sleeping bag.  The unique selling point of the product is the ease of unfolding and folding the sleeping bag.  The team carried out their own market research finding that 90% of the target audience agreed there was a gap in the market for the “all in one rucksack.  The students developed a working prototype which they plan to patent and develop further.

Team members from Zip Away commented on the experience, “We are all thrilled to have won the overall title of Swansea Bay Young Business Dragons 2012.  As a team we have learnt so many new skills during the competition.  Most of all we have enjoyed working together as a team and thanks to this challenge we are all now great friends.  It has been a life changing experience for us and has shown us that we can achieve our goals.  As a team we are now looking to take our product further and are looking for investors!”

Adam Amor, Buffoon Film and Media and business mentor for team Zip Away, commented, "It's been great to see the team grow during the competition and it's been a pleasure to work with the group. They have worked really hard and have come up with an outstanding product which has the potential to turn into a real business."

The competition judges included Philip Davies, LBS Builders Merchants Ltd, Nicola Pughfrom Montagne Jeunesse International Ltd. and Andrew Downie, Netbop Technologies Ltd. 

Graham Edwards, Chief Executive of sponsors, Wales & West Utilities, said: “This year’s competition has been fantastic!  I would like to congratulate the 6 teams that made it through to the finals.  The students have demonstrated a real passion for business and real entrepreneurial flair – they are an inspiration to us all.  Team ‘Zip Away’ are certainly very worthy overall winners and as main sponsors we wish them well for their futures.”

Other business sponsors of the event were Derwen, UK Steel Enterprise Ltd and Carillion.

Swansea Bay Young Business Dragons Awards went to:

  • Best teamwork Award:  Water Ones fromCwrt Sart CommunitySchool
  • Most Polished Pitch Award & Most Innovative Product Award:  Team Zip Away, Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera
  • Best Financial Planning Award: Team Endurance, Ysgol Glan Y Mor
  • Best Marketing Campaign & Best Brand Award:TeamWash Pit, Ysgol Bryngwyn
  • Most Innovative Social Media Campaign Award: Team Solar Light,Bishop Vaughan Catholic School
  • Best Trade Stand Award: Team Vintage Vans,Ffynone House School