Young Enterprise is a scheme which enables young people at school or College to set up and run their own business over the course of their Lower Sixth year, before entering into a national competition which culminates with a grand final held in London.
The Pangbourne team, whose business is operating under the moniker, Sterling, have taken a significant step in the competition by collecting the Best Overall Company, The Digital and The Best Presentation Awards at the West Berkshire Area Final. Our entrepreneurs fought off stiff competition from six other teams representing three other schools in the area.
Each of the students involved in Sterling took on an official role within their newly developed company, such as Managing Director, Finance Director and Company Secretary. Tia Duffy, who took on the role of Managing Director in the project, said: “We had lots of ideas to begin with and we were thinking of things that could benefit people. A lot of us have dogs that run away, so the tracker felt like quite a good idea!
“We’ve done a lot of marketing online and attended some fairs and trade centres - it’s been both rewarding and difficult trying to sell things. When we got to the local [West Berkshire] final, the other teams were quite a lot bigger than ours and they had great ideas so we weren’t sure if we would do well. We were quite surprised when we found out we had won!”
Their product, which proved to be a huge hit with the judges, is a GPS dog-tracker that is packed with features to allow the owner to proactively track their pet. These include the ability to set a radius on the tracker and receive a notification when a pet leaves this area, owners can call a pet via their phone to get them home or reassure them if they are lost, and the use of a SIM card and GPS data means a pet can be tracked almost anywhere in the UK via the corresponding SPOT app which is now available via the App Store for iOS and Google Play Store.
Maddy Sawbridge, who took on the marketing side of things, said: “This whole experience teaches you a lot about business and how the real life market is working. I was running the marketing aspect and that’s what I would like to go into so having a small, more controlled project where you have the money and can figure it out, it was a good learning experience for the real world.”
Not only did the team come up with the concept and create the SPOT collar tracker, they have built a website and made social media channels to promote and sell their product, which costs £34.95 and fits onto any regular collar.
The next stage for Sterling is the Berkshire County Final, held later this month at the Oracle Conference Centre in Reading.