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Texan success for Strathclyde’s young entrepreneurs

By Rebecca Richardson - Posted on 30 April 2013

Rebecca Richardson, an undergraduate student from the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde Business School reflects on winning a prestigious prize at an international entrepreneurs’ competition in the USA.

Having travelled for over 14 hours, Team REVIVE finally landed in Texas with a great pitch for an environmentally friendly and socially conscious business. Our idea takes used coffee grains from retailers, a waste source which accumulates 67,500 tonnes worldwide every day, and packages this into a resourceful, organic and 100% natural garden fertilizer. With our business plan written up, our presentation slides in check and our prototype product filled with the local Starbuck’s freshest coffee grains, it was time for us to show our idea to some of the greatest entrepreneurial minds of America.

Waking up at 6am on a Friday has never been easier, decked out in our REVIVE gear we headed to the TCU campus alongside other competing schools with the chance to win the $15,000 cash prize. The nerves were slowly fading away as we toured the campus and happily networked with our comrades until REVIVE’s time to present had come, and then anxiety really struck. After forty minutes of presenting and daunting questions, along with Americans being mesmerised by our accents, we left the room with huge relief and pride at what we had just accomplished not only for ourselves but for our university.

The feedback and comments we received in the hours and even days following were incredibly positive and motivating with many esteemed judges encouraging us to pursue our idea. For example the judges gave us ideas on how to reduce costs in terms or product packaging and dispensing the fertiliser to garden stores. That evening as we sat down to a traditional Texan barbeque we were shocked to hear the announcement that we REVIVE, had won the Founders Award along with a $2500 prize. The award really was the icing on the cake to an inspiring two days.

All of us can safely say it is the learning curve in our soon to be prosperous business careers. Watching our fellow competitor’s presentations alone has set the standard of what we one day, hope to achieve. Their professionalism from their outfits to networking and presenting styles is something to be admired. Not only was it an amazing experience academically but also culturally – it was more than we ever could have hoped for.

The potential to actually start up our business and company is definitely within our grasp, however with a few members going away for a year abroad on exchange and with the more challenging years of our degrees coming in a tad too quickly, it may still be some time before you see the REVIVE logo on your coffee cups – but we will do it.

We would like to take this time to thank Strathclyde University for this opportunity. Thank you to the staff who took the time, effort and money to make our experience possible. We’d also like to thank Texas Christian University for inviting us and for their kind hospitality.

Our time in America showed us that the Texans live by their motto of friendship. Every meeting is greeted with a welcoming handshake, a smile and a ‘howdy y’all.’ They ask for nothing, but through hard work, preparation and demonstrating their passion for their enterprises, we saw first-hand how these young entrepreneurs are going to change the world.

Have you ever taken part in a dragon’s den style competition? Do you think these events are inspirational for young entrepreneurs? Let us know in the comments below.



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