Manchester entrepreneurs crowned ‘Rising Stars of Europe’
28 Mar 2013
A team of entrepreneurs from Manchester Business School have won first prize in the European final of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) International Business Plan Competition.
The Kaffeination team, behind the innovative new caffeinated sweets called UPs SolidEnergy, beat 14 teams in the finals in Brussels to be crowned champions. They were also awarded $1,000 dollars and given the Rising Star of Europe 2013 award.
They now progress to the world finals of the Rice University International Business Plan Competition in Houston, Texas in April where they will compete with 41 other finalists from across the globe.
Team members Shiraz Anwar, Matthias Schmid and David Reetz all studied on the MSc Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship degree programme at Manchester Business School and won the University’s annual business start-up competition, Venture Further, in 2012.
Matthias commented: “To win this competition is fantastic. We now head to the finals in the USA with the opportunity to pitch for big investment into our business.
"The last year has been amazing for us – it is only 12 months since we submitted our first business plan for Kaffeination into the Venture Further competition and now we have our product on sale in Manchester and are in the finals of the world’s largest business plan competition.”
The team successfully came through a ‘shark tank’ presentation in the first round with tough questioning from the judging panel throughout. They progressed to the final round with five other teams and presented their business plan to another panel of judges before performing an elevator pitch.
The judging panels consisted of high profile entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from around Europe and the team have received interest from a number of potential investors.
David added: “By reaching the European final and winning we have some great opportunities opening up for us. We’ve already spoken to a number of potential investors and we’ll be bidding to win part of a $1 million-plus prize fund in the Rice University Business Plan Competition in April.
“It’s thanks to the enterprise team at Manchester Business School, and their support with producing our business plan for the Venture Further competition last year, that we have been able to develop our business and achieve what we have.”
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