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.
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,
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
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
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
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
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
- Most Polished Pitch Award & Most
Innovative Product Award: Team Zip Away, Ysgol Gyfun
- 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