Idea to tackle drink spiking wins students £1,000 prize

An idea for a device that stops drinks getting spiked has won the Fox’s Lair 2019 – De Montfort University Leicester (DMU)’s biggest student business competition.

GUARDIT, a tamper-proof lid that can be fitted over bottles and glasses, was inspired by the experience of student Emily Kirby, whose drink was spiked on a night out.

FL winners

“I was thinking about what we could do for a business idea and I just thought about my getting spiked,” she said. “It was horrible and I didn’t want it to happen to anyone else.”

She and team mates Georgia King, Oliver Knee and William Kowanec designed and developed GUARDIT and pitched the idea to a team of judges or Foxes made up of real-life business leaders who give up their time to support the contest.

This week, GUARDIT was announced the winner of the competition, which challenges all first-year students taking a business module to come up with a new business and pitch it to the Foxes.

Judges were impressed by its simplicity and its mission to help others. “Pitching was quite nerve-wracking,” said Oliver. “We got a grilling but it has been a good experience.” “I can’t believe we’ve won!” added Will. “It’s brilliant.”

The GUARDIT team won goodies courtesy of the judges and received a £1,000 cheque from brand agency Champions UK, based in Leicestershire. The GUARDIT team said they would consider developing the project for real if they were able to secure funding.

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Andrew Nicholson, module leader for Fox’s Lair, said the skills they learned while coming up with their ideas would stand them in good stead for internships and jobs.

He added: “They get to work with real life businesses and have their ideas listened to. It is a great opportunity to have in their first year before they’ve even started looking at a placement.”

Second place went to Tasty, an idea for a mobile food truck delivering healthy food to officer workers. The team was Joshua Hutchings, Aleksandra Zuzanna Pawlikowska, Yaameen Rahman, Chhandni Rajput and Kamil Sarniak.

Third place was E-Card, which replaces swipe cards for university students with a mobile phone app devised by Dominik Urban Noert Walasek, Ali Haq and Simona Amoah.

John Hayes of brand agency Champions UK has been a supporter of Fox’s Lair for 10 years. He said: “This competition gives the students a real taste of what they need to know to succeed in business. There was such a mix of ideas this year and it is always a difficult job to choose the winners.”

Some of the students were aiming to develop their ideas as real businesses, including Parallel, which matches jobseekers with opportunities based on personality tests.

Posted on Friday 17th May 2019

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