|M-SParc (Menai Science Park)
Author Jane Lambert
© 2018 Jane Lambert: all rights reserved
I was at M-SParc, the Menai Science Park, in Anglesey yesterday for Pitch Perfect 2, the second event at which local entrepreneurs pitch for funding for their business propositions. I attended the first Pitch Perfect on 1 March 2019 and wrote about it in A Good Way to Spend St David's Day on 2 March 2019 in NIPC News. This event was smaller than the last one but the quality of the business proposals was no less impressive.
Instead of separate contests for big investments, startups and students which took place last time, there was only one competition for two prizes. One was awarded by the audience from their £10 entry fees. The other was awarded by the management. As before, votes were cast and questions were put to the competitors through sli.do. There was a panel of experts who questioned the competitors on the details of their proposals. The audience contained at least one local angel as well as bankers, business advisers, business owners and friends and supporters of the competitors. I was accompanied by a client from Yorkshire who had become a friend and who is now exploring the scope for licensing and other transactions in Northwest Wales.
The audience's favourite was Sbarduno, a project to encourage science teaching in Wales. Those workshops can be given in either English or Welsh. Awen Haf Ashworth who made the pitch for the proposal has taught science to her own pupils in both languages. She presented her proposal in Welsh. Sbrduno overtook a proposal by two recent graduates to identify and promote dementia friendly holiday accommodation in North Wales. Many of the proposals were altruistic as well as commercially viable such as a video game for mental healthcare developed by two young students, a mobile road safety device which won the management award a QR link for locating services and next of kin for vulnerable individuals. My personal favourite was a social network for university students which reminds me very much of Facebook and could be just as big.
As before, visitors were offered refreshments on arrival and chilli con carne and vegetarian chile were served between the presentations and awards. Several of the competitors asked me about patents, trade marks, confidentiality and IP generally. I promised to return later in the year with a patent attorney who could carry out searches and advise on patenting and other issues. If possible we shall try to include a speaker from the IPO and a specialist insurance broker.
Before Pitch Perfect 2 my guest and I visited the premises of Halen Mon which are located on the coast a few miles from M-SParc. We joined a conducted tour where we watched a video, saw the evaporation trays and packaging facility and tasted the company's products. It is an example of the new businesses that are transforming the economy of Northwest Wales. Its brand is protected not only by trade mark registrations and the laws of passing off but also by Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 on protected geographical indications and protected designations of origin.
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