My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Graduate entrepreneurs share £20K startup funding from USW

Eight graduate entrepreneurs based at the University of South Wales (USW) have shared £20,000 of start-up funding to help get their business off to a flying start.

The business leaders successfully pitched for a share of the money as part of fifth round of the USW-funded Springboard Start-up Fund, which has been running since 2021.

The awards were made following the Springboard Pitching Day in late June, for which 20 applied and 11 were shortlisted.

The programme is managed by the USW-based Startup Stiwdio graduate incubator team, in partnership with the USW Careers and Enterprise teams. The programme also receives additional funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).

Richie Turner, Incubator Manager at USW and Chair of Fund Panel, said: “These Awards are always one of the highlights of the year in terms of celebrating the enterprise and entrepreneurship of our incredible graduates.

“As USW continues to create more graduate startups each year than any other university in Wales, the standard of applications for our Startup Awards also becomes higher each year.

“Congratulations to all those who entered and all those who were shortlisted, and, of course, the biggest of congratulations to all of those securing the startup grants.

“I look forward to welcoming many who applied for an award to our Startup Stiwdios over the next few months.”

The winners of the awards were:

Sam Thomas and Adam Kaplan of STAK Performance were awarded £3,500. They are graduates from the BSc Strength and Conditioning and BSc Sport & Exercise Science courses, and will use the funds to buy IT equipment and software to improve their tracking of performance for their clients.

Dan McCadden of 66Days was awarded £3,400. Dan is a BA Film Graduate whose film company is aiming to specialise in making promo videos for the South Wales Craft Beer sector.

Charlotte Jackson-Welford of Hebe Aesthetics and Wellbeing was awarded £3,200. Charlotte is a Nursing (Mental Health) graduate who offers nurse-led medical aesthetics and wellbeing treatments.

Carmela Dellifiori of Dellifiori Aesthetics was awarded £2,500. Carmela is a BA Fashion Design graduate who offers a lash therapy business that helps to understand its clients on a personal level, learning what makes each individual client look and feel their best.

Amber Jones of Bombus Artisanal was awarded £2,450. Amber is BA Fashion and Design graduate who has founded the small handmade fashion brand that focuses on collaboration with other makers to create sustainable clothing and accessories.

Usman Tarafdar, Jaz Banson, and Kothilmozhiyan Rajavelu of Knockback Games Ltd were awarded £2,250. All are BA Games Design graduates and have high ambitions to become a staple in the video games industry and are currently 18 months into developing their first game – Sincognito©.

Rhianedd Williams of Shibinogi was awarded £1,700. Rhi is BA Illustration graduate who has established Shibinogi, which designs and sells merchandise and apparel online and at comic-conventions across the UK.

Jenny Langley of Whisper Bridal Boutique was awarded £1,000. Jenny is a BA Fashion Design graduate who has just opened her first shop in Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan. The award will allow Jenny to increase her marketing, activities including attending more wedding fairs to promote her specially-designed outfits.