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BUDDING BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR TAKES FIRST PLACE

Posted 10 May 2004

A Shropshire student has scooped £1,000 in a West Midlands competition after coming up with an innovative business idea.

Will Hobby, of Harper Adams University College, Newport, Shropshire, was awarded first place in the initial round of the BizCom competition, which is organised by the West Mercia Institute of Enterprise and is open to all universities across the West Midlands.

Will beat off stiff competition from three other Harper Adams students in the first, college-based round, with his plan to produce Storm Turbines. These devices, designed to provide a cheap form of energy, were unanimously chosen by a panel of judges, including Roger Hargreaves of Ricoh UK Products Ltd and Chris Bartlett, of Britons Toys.

The student, who is also publicity officer for Harper’s Student Union, will now go head to head with winners from 12 other universities in the regional final next month in Warwickshire. Last year a Harper Adams student, Phil Burrows, took second place. The overall winner receives £4,000 and an additional £5,000 in help to get the business idea up and running.

Business lecturer Paul Adkins said he had been impressed with the standard of entries from the college this year, and added: “Will tells me he will be a millionaire by the time he is 30 – and with ideas like this, I wouldn’t be at all surprised.”

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