Three economics students from Abingdon School; Henrik Cox, Jamie Sandall and Harry Sandford, have won through to the final rounds of the PolyU Global Student Challenge, an international business competition run by the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong. Just 30 shortlisted teams from schools across the world are chosen to compete in the world semi-finals and final of this prestigious business competition. The final rounds take place in Hong Kong from the 22-28 June. In the 2011 challenge there were 191 entries from 27 countries including Europe, North America, Asia and Africa.
Speaking about their success, Henrik Cox, who is 17 and from Henley said: “I’m thrilled for the team. It was hard work but we are very enthusiastic and that has kept us motivated. I am really looking forward to going to Hong Kong – it will be an unforgettable experience and opportunity.”
To enter the Challenge, the team had to write a 20 page business plan and a three page executive summary for a unique and innovative business idea. The Abingdon economists came up with a plan called Lüg, a SMART phone app-controlled suitcase designed to make consumers’ journeys easier, safer and environmentally informative. A Lüg case is controlled by a free to download Smart Phone app (the Lüg App), which allows the consumer to use a number of innovative features built into the case. These features include: a remote locking system, an in-built LCD screen that can display what the user wishes, in-built weighing scales, an in-built GPS locator and Bluetooth technology, and, perhaps the most innovative function, the ability to calculate the suitcase’s carbon footprint for a particular journey and to identify how many carbon credits need to be purchased to offset this.
The business plan had to cover all aspects of setting up a successful company, including details of the product, market and target audience, operations plans, management structures and financial projections.
Nick Fieldhouse, who teaches economics at Abingdon, said; “This is a significant achievement for the three students. A huge amount of work went into their business plan and to be invited to Hong Kong to present their ideas is a fantastic opportunity. Just three other UK schools will be going out with them.”
In Hong Kong, Henrik, Jamie and Harry will present their idea for Lüg to a panel of judges (who will already have thoroughly read through their business plan) and they will also film and show an advert for their idea. The boys will be up against strong worldwide competition for the top prize of US $3,000.
The competition website is:www.polyu.edu.hk/polyuchallenge/index2.php.