Eye-catching innovations from mobile apps which will improve your golf swing to ultrasound waves enabling the sensation of touch in mid-air were on show in Bristol in the first of 13 free events across the UK to inspire pioneers of the future to create their own jobs.

The Bristol Creative Showcase, organised by 23-year-old Sam Fry, the Enterprise Consultant at the University of Bristol and Regional Ambassador for Virgin Media Pioneers, saw more than 120 potential entrepreneurs rub shoulders with people
already making waves in the creative industries and learn from two-minute pitches to the crowd at the Watershed in Bristol City Centre.

With nearly one-in-four young people currently unemployed, Virgin Media Pioneers, a free, online community connecting young, entrepreneurial talent, is running a series of showcases to prompt more bright sparks to act on their big ideas – with the first event in Bristol on Tuesday night a sell-out success.

"I think there are more opportunities than ever out there for young entrepreneurs and this is clear from the diverse and amazing new businesses which exhibited at the showcase," said Sam.

"There aren't many actual jobs around, but I see that as being all the more reason to try  going it alone and setting up your own business. And the demand for this event, which sold out well in advance shows there is the appetite among people of all ages to get creative and use the power of the internet to get started in business.”

Sir Richard Branson, Pioneer-at-Large for Virgin Media Pioneers, said: "There is a huge amount we can do to unlock entrepreneurial potential and Virgin Media Pioneers is empowering young entrepreneurs to fulfil their dreams of owning and managing successful businesses.

Among those exhibiting were Tom Carter, 24, and Professor Sriram Subramanian, 37, who are en route to launching their revolutionary product this year. ‘Ultrahaptics’ is based in the Merchant Venturers building in Bristol and spun out of the university’s computer science department after Tom’s final year project turned heads.

A PhD followed on creating ultrasound waves that can move small objects or create the sensation of touch. They are currently in the process of commercialising the technology and have been nominated as the university’s best graduate start up for 2013. Another local start-up, InMotion, showed how a sporting passion can be turned into a business idea with a unique product for golfers that will carefully track your swing and help you understand how to be a better golfer with the use of just a miniature attachment and a highly intuitive mobile app.

Apps were also the target of another business, based in the Watershed. Calvium have designed a do-it-yourself platform to build mobile phone applications, making it even easier for entrepreneurs to jump on the digital bandwagon.

Sam is one of 13 entrepreneurs across the UK acting as regional ambassadors for the Pioneers community to help inspire and transform the prospects of young people in the South West.

He founded a student newspaper while at university in Liverpool, organises the student groups Bristol Entrepreneurs, Bristol Social Enterprise and Enactus Bristol and is developing his latest venture, ARvoyant, a pre-visualization tool that uses mobile augmented reality to help plan physical projects, saving time and money for its future users.

“Events like this enable people to share ideas and be inspired,” Sam added. "Sir Richard Branson is such an inspiration for young entrepreneurs; his story is the ultimate benchmark that we all aspire to and it would be great if Pioneers can help
create the next wave of successful entrepreneurs in the South West."
 





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