Northamptonshire fruit-processing business, Blue Skies, came away with food for thought as students showcased new product ideas in a Dragons Den-inspired competition.
The stakes were high as students battled it out for the top prize of new laptops at the inaugural Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) Challenge event. Undergraduates, post-graduates, and MBA students from across the faculty presented new product line ideas to senior figureheads at Blue Skies and the University.
In a hotly contested event, students presented a host of potential new fruit-based ranges; from organic apple cider vinegar, fruit bars and puree, to ice pops and Smoothies.
Students were challenged to factor in current global issues into their presentations; such as climate change, globalisation and social media – with judges assessing the presentations on quality, depth of industry knowledge, creativity and innovation.
The winning team on the day were MA students Phuoc Quynh Anh Ho and Mariya Rungarun, and MBA student Thanh Quoc Hunh – with their product, Fruit Fritty.
In addition to the top prize, the winning team will now meet for lunch with the chairman of Blue Skies to discuss the next steps for their product.
The FBL Challenge 2019 winners – Team Sun
Simon Derrick, head of corporate communications at Blue Skies, said: “Our collaboration on the FBL Challenge with the University of Northampton has been an enjoyable and valuable experience. Seeing the hard work and creativity that the students have put in to their presentations has been truly inspiring.
“We operate in a rapidly changing, globalised world with challenges and opportunities around every corner, and so we need the kind of lateral thinking and fresh ideas that we saw from the talented students who presented to us last week.”
Dr Mairi Watson, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law, and one of the head judges, said: “It was an enormous pleasure to see so many excellent presentations, of very high quality, of inspiring originality and all based on thorough research.
“It was very difficult to pick just one winner from such enthusiastic teams. I’m very grateful to our partners for this event – who provided the prizes and contributed their time to help judge the event.”