It has almost been an entire year since Amber Probyn and Hazel McShane, the co-founders of PEEQUAL, won the New Enterprise Competition (NEC) – Growth Stage. We were keen to catch-up with them, to hear all about their success since winning £15,000 in last year’s NEC competition.
Can you summarise what PEEQUAL is?
PEEQUAL is the UK’s first free-standing women’s urinal, making it quick, safe, and sustainable for women to pee at events.
Why did you choose to apply for the NEC last year?
We applied for 3 stages of the NEC and had been supported by the smaller grants given. We saw the impact the grants had on our development so we wanted to apply for the largest grant which we knew could be a catalyst for our business.
What did applying to the NEC do for your start-up?
Winning the NEC meant we were able to invest in building a working prototype which we could test at festivals and events. This was huge as we were able to get feedback from users and customers, gain credibility and traction which helped us go onto raising investment for manufacturing. The exposure of the NEC award also made a big PR splash and we had 3-4 weeks of constant PR which drove customers to us from all over the world.
What have you done since winning the NEC last year?
We have built the working prototype, tested at 5 events over the 2021 summer and iterated the design as we went. We raised £250,000 of equity investment, have started manufacturing the product, employed 4 members of staff not including the founders and have customers lined up to rent to in our first year of trading.
What does the future look like for PEEQUAL?
We intend to scale up internationally in 2023 as we have global demand for PEEQUAL.As well as this, we are thinking of adapting the design to be appropriate in more markets such as fixed sites e.g. shopping centres or to be helpful in the humanitarian relief sector e.g. refugee camps.
If you want to take your start-up business to the next level, you too can win up to £20,000 of funding and pro-bon support by applying for the New Enterprise Competition – GrowthStage. The competition is open to final year students and recent graduates. Applications are open now and close on Monday 30 May.
The Growth stage of the New Enterprise Competition (NEC) is now open for applications. This stage offers up to £20,000 of funding and pro-bon support to help launch, advance, and grow your start-up to realise its full potential. The competition is open to final year students and recent graduates.
We had a catch-up with Young Goat, the 2021 People’s Choice Award winners, to see what they had been up to since winning £2,000 in last year’s competition. (more…)
“Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias. Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.” – tagline for International Women’s Day 2022
Today, we are taking the opportunity to highlight and acknowledge a handful of brilliant female students and graduates who have helped to #breakthebias by exemplifying the missions of International Women’s Day through their various projects, start-ups, and volunteering activities. Prepare to be inspired!
IWD mission: To shine a spotlight on activity uplifting and inspiring women to pursue goals without bias or barrier
Arooba Hameed, Year 3 Cancer Biology and Immunology (BSc)
Arooba completely embodies this mission and recently won £1000 of funding in the Development Stage of the New Enterprise Competition for the non-profit community group she founded, Higher Education for Asylum Seekers & Refugees (HEAR). HEAR aims to support refugees and asylum seekers in accessing educational opportunities through guidance, training, mentoring & advocacy.(more…)
The world of employment has changed significantly over the last 12 months due to the pandemic. What has felt like months ofuncertainty over what the future holds, the prospect of diving into the deep–end and starting your own businessmight seem daunting.
However, working for yourself and launching a start-up in 2021 can be a greatopportunity. Particularly if your enterprise fills a gap in the market, is well researched and it is something you’re passionate about.
The New Enterprise Competition– Development stage is now open for applications. This stage of the competition awards up to £1,000 to 10 start-ups. Funds can be used towards developing student and graduate start-ups. Historically winners have ranged between social enterprises combating foodwaste, to sustainable clothing businesses and much more.
Historically, funding has gone to start-ups who arebuilding a prototype, developing a website and investing in materials and much more.
This year may seem uncertain but certainly comes with lots of possibilities, so why not take that business idea you had over the first lockdown to the next level?!
Want to find out more? Over the next few weeks we’ll be catching up with last years Development winners.
Precious Plastic Dunkerque
Could you sum up your start-up in a Tweet?
Precious Plastic Dunkerque is a Social Enterprise being developed to support displaced people in Dunkerque.Using plastic waste collected from informal camps, we will produce new items; to be sold, to support those sleeping rough and to provide community workshops.(more…)
This week, 16 to 20 November marks Global Entrepreneurship Week. The campaign began in 2008 with an emphasis on inspiring young people to make their mark. It has quickly grown into a week which inspires entrepreneurs, students, researchers and more to collaborate and advance economic growth and innovation.
The Basecamp Enterprise team are getting involved by offering a jam-packed week of events where industry experts share top tips, networking opportunities and the launch of Natwest 10k challenge.
Calling all Bristol’s budding entrepreneurs! On Tuesday 11 February we welcome the first Start-up drinks of the decade!
Start-up drinks is an event run on the second Tuesday of every month in collaboration between The University of Bristol’s Basecamp Enterprise Team and The University of the West of England (UWE).
Whether you have an entrepreneurial idea, an established and growing business or you are simply interested in entrepreneurship and growing your networks, this is the place to be. But don’t just take our word for it! We spoke to local businesses and students about what they heart most about Start-up Drinks…
Teck, 4th year student in Aerospace Engineering
Why did you attend Start-up Drinks?
I found out about the event while looking through the Careers Service page last year and decided to attend for a variety of reasons. I wanted to learn more about being an entrepreneur and to find out what’s going on in the local start-up community. I wanted to meet other people who might be helpful in making my start-up a reality like co founders and investors as well as customers.
What can other students expect?
Start-up Drinks is a friendly environment for students who want to get started with entrepreneurship. It is where you can meet other supportive and likeminded people. It may be just what you need to take that first step into turning your business idea into reality.
Do you have any networking top tips for budding entrepreneurs?
Always know why you are there. Have a friendly smile, be yourself and listen! (more…)
Basecamp Enterprise Team caught up with winner of Ideas Stage, New Enterprise Competition and Bristol University alumni Ash Guest. Ash founded the start-up business Focks Socks and has continued to develop her start-up since its
beginnings in 2017. Here’s what Ash had
to say about her start-up journey:
Who are you?
My name is Ash and I’ve just started a Masters in Human Rights Law, after completing my undergrad in law at UoB a couple of years ago.(more…)
Actuation Lab is now 4 months into its year long membership of the SETsquared Bristol incubator that it won as runner-up in the NewEnterprise Competition. We have developed greatly as a business over that time and continue to refine our technology and market focus. We recently received a place on the Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research (ICURe) InnovateUK program which is providing us with funding and the ability to further explore market opportunities.(more…)
1.) It caters for all stages of your start-up journey
The competition caters for all levels of start-up stages: ‘Ideas,’ ‘Development’ and ‘Growth.’ Funding is available at all stages, and there is pro bono support available from our sponsors in the Growth stage of the competition. You can apply to any and all stages of the competition and do not need to complete them in order (more information below). To read about some of our start-up stories from previous winners of the competition, clickhere.