Plymouth University students win cash in first city crowdfunding workshop
TWO student business ideas shared a £500 prize at the city's first crowdfunding workshop.
The UK's leading crowdfunding network Peoplefund.it staged the one-day event at Plymouth University to demonstrate to students and city businesses how they could raise money from the community to invest in a business ideas.
Peoplefund.it teamed up with Tom Scott and Theodore Moule, of The Entrepreneur Society, to run the workshop as part of its Enterprise Accelerator partnership with Plymouth University.
The workshop was headed by Phil Geraghty, managing director of Peoplefund.it, who started the session by explaining the background to crowdfunding.
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Owen Wallis, senior producer of Peoplefund.it, then told business students how to market and crowdfund their own project.
Crowdfunding is a concept that encourages people with a business idea to ask the public for the funding they need to set up or expand.
The business sets a target for the money it wants to raise and explains how it will use the cash.
People can then make pledges for small amounts of money in return for a reward if the target is reached.
The session ended with a live crowdfunding task where students were split into groups and asked to come up with a pitch to present to a panel of judges including Lindsey Hall, director of the Real Ideas Organisation; Alan Qualtrough, editor-in-chief of GAIN (the Growth Acceleration and Investment Network); and Sheldon Ryan, senior economic development officer at Plymouth City Council.
However, the judges could not chose between two proposed schemes, a community swimming pool project and a book idea, so the two winning groups split the £500 prize between them.
Mr Geraghty said: "The ideas were great, and we could not choose.
"We're hoping it helped the students see what it takes to get a business idea off the ground."
Peoplefund.it was launched by KEO digital, makers of TV's River Cottage, Hugh's Fish Fight and the associated energyshare eco-scheme.
It moved to the South West following the establishment of a partnership with Plymouth University.
The Peoplefund.it network includes Crowdfunder, WeDidThis, the Arts and Culture funding platform, and publishing crowdfunder Unbound.