On 4th July 2017 Theo was a guest judge at the ever-impressive Ryman National Enterprise Challenge finals.
This year 110 schools made the cut, held at the Telford International Centre, with each school represented by a group of passionate budding entrepreneurs who met the briefs with attention to detail on marketing, overall strategy, product USP, presentation skills and a whole load of confidence.
Theo led the panel of judges including Olympic gold medallist Joe Clarke MBE, Ryman’s Financial Director Simon Lakin, Director of Marketing at Staffordshire University Georgina Kellie and Ben Dyer, founder of the NEC.
Now in its 4th year of Sponsorship, Ryman and Theo set the Key Stage 4 challenge, alongside Alton Towers who set the Key Stage 3 challenge.
What did they have to do?
The brief from Alton Towers was to develop a ‘galactic’ themed live event or attraction to help promote the latest of the attractions at The Alton Towers Resort, Galactica. The students had to create a story to accompany their attraction and also decide on the branding and promotional aspects of the attraction, as well as acting out an advert. These presentations included planets and even some students dressed up as astronauts.
Theo and Ryman challenged the students to come up with an engaging app, which could create revenue and increase brand awareness or improve the customer service or customer experience. Theo also set the condition that it could not be a copy of the Ryman website and should enhance it. The presentations were very impressive all round.
Finalists in the Key Stage 3 Alton Towers Challenge Brighouse High School (Yorkshire), St Saviours and St Olaves Church of England School (London), Northampton Academy (Northampton) and Walton Priory Middle School (Stone, Staffordshire).
For the Key Stage 4 Ryman Challenge, the finalists were Altrincham Grammar School for Girls (Manchester), Westborough High School (Yorkshire), Charles Darwin School (Kent) and Redmoor Academy (Leicestershire)
The judges were treated to some incredibly confident, well researched and thought-provoking presentations, with some even singings their ideas, but there could only be one winner in each category!
The overall winners for the Key Stage 3 challenge were the very brilliant team from Brighouse High School. Their idea was Cosmos, a dome covering a starry walkway filled with fun facts about the galaxy to entertain bored teenagers queuing for the main attraction, a different, great idea which all the judges loved.
Westborough High School won the Key Stage 4 challenge with a virtual reality app for Ryman’s store, with a virtual shopping assistant allowing teenagers to shop for stationery while playing games. An original idea which was led by very strong presentation skills.
There were a number of other awards that were presented to the most enterprising boy and girl from each key stage and the most enterprising teacher.
Since launching in 2013, the National Enterprise Challenge has had over 140,000 students take part. http://www.nationalenterprisechallenge.co.uk/