Students get experience and cash for bright ideas

Newbridge Junior School Picture: Maria Bujor

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THREE students from the University of Portsmouth have scooped prizes for their enterprising ideas.

Judges in the first round of the Enterprise Challenge Awards have recognised a helicopter training simulator, a phone app to encourage runners, and a device for carrying multiple coat-hangers to make shopping easier.

The winners were awarded £250 cash and will now get the opportunity to spend a day in one of three big-name organisations.

Sean Larsen, 22, the inventor of a training console for a Robinson R22 helicopter, will spend the day as a project manager at BMW.

He said he was more pleased with the work experience than with the cash prize, and said: ‘One of the most difficult aspects of my idea was keeping the price down.

‘Full-scale helicopter simulators costs thousands of pounds so the whole idea behind my design was to keep it as simple and therefore as inexpensive as possible while maintaining its functionality and effectiveness.

‘It’s been a real challenge but it’s part of my course so I’m working on it every single day.’

Andrew Martin, 19, will spend a day with the entrepreneurial team at Fuller’s Brewery for his winning phone app, which allows runners to share information about routes, speed and timings, and compare their performance on Facebook and Twitter. Abigail Dillon, 19, won for her hoop device designed to slip over the arm and make carrying several coat hangers or clothes easier. The English student described her idea as simple yet effective and confessed it was thought up after frequently carrying armfuls of clothes during shopping trips. She wins a meeting with a retail buyer at The Southern Co-operative.

Round two takes place at the start of June.