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Graduate business success

22 Hydref 2010

Stuart JolleyStuart Jolley

An innovative company set up by a Cardiff University graduate from the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies has launched a product into one of the UK’s leading health and beauty retailers.

Wingman, a business that produces male grooming products and set up by Stuart Jolley, has secured a contract with Boots which sees the product, Wingman Deodorising Wipes displayed in more than 260 stores nationwide.

The wipes originally developed to be used at music festivals, urban travel or at home, have since been redesigned, and can now be used for all-over male body deodorising. It has proved successful with Boots who have already put in a replenishment order.

Wingman has also contacted some major flight companies, including Virgin and British Airways with the hope they will test the wipes during on-board business flights.

The business was set up after Stuart entered the University’s 2009 Spark Business Idea Competition with his innovative design.

Spark Business Idea Competition is run by the University’s Student Enterprise in partnership with Banco Santander and the Santander Universities scheme. The 2011 Competition launches this month, offering other like-minded students a platform to showcase their business ideas.

Stuart said: "Student Enterprise was extremely helpful during my time at Cardiff University. Not only did they provide Wingman with a start-up fund to get the business off the ground, they also provided invaluable advice and support during my time at Cardiff. Anyone thinking of starting a business should really take advantage of this excellent service."

Founder Stuart Jolley is now due to appear in a BBC Two series ‘The Next Big Thing’, presented by entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis, which is scheduled to screen in the New Year. Another business which has been highly successful thanks to the start-up help of Student Enterprise is UKLoupes. Founded by fourth-year dental student, Dave Stone and his business partner Dan Keil in 2010, UKLoupes now sells in the UK, Eastern Europe and India. It provides good quality loupes (the hands-free magnifying lenses used by dentists and surgeons when performing operations) at more affordable prices for dental students.

UKLoupes won the £1000 prize from the 2010 Spark Business Idea competition. The feedback and funding received has enabled them to move onto the next stage of expanding their company. UKLoupes was also selected as one of the final three for HSBC’s Start Up Stars International Award 2010.

The 2011 Spark Business Idea Competition is open to all current students who have a new business idea. The competition is open to applications until March 2011. To support students with business ideas, Student Enterprise is also running a series of business start-up workshops from 26 October aimed at helping students to develop their business plan. Individual guidance sessions are also offered to students and recent graduates.

The University’s Student Enterprise service offers impartial information and guidance to all students on how to take an idea forward and how to take an existing business or social enterprise to the next level.

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