A student who launched an innovative healthy meals delivery service while studying at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has won a prestigious national Institute of Directors (IoD) award.
Alex Gatehouse, founder of start-up company Pelico, was named Student Director of the Year at an annual awards ceremony in London celebrating directors at the forefront of leadership excellence.
His success follows that of fellow former UWE Bristol student Jamie Rawsthorne, founder of higher education analytics business Unique Insights, who won the prize in 2016. Both graduated from the pioneering Team Entrepreneurship degree programme, where undergraduates are encouraged to set up and develop their own businesses as part of their studies.
Pelico, whose co-directors are current Team Entrepreneurship students, offers its customers nutritious, chef-made meals delivered within 30 minutes for under £6. The company’s aim is to make it as easy as possible for busy professionals to eat well. Alex has steered the company’s growth and development over the past three years, helping create a successful food technology venture.
The Student Director of the Year award recognises students who have implemented brilliant and innovative projects that have created real tangible value for their audience.
Adrian Rivers, Programme Lead for the Team Entrepreneurship programme, said: “These awards are major achievements and provide added evidence of the ability of the students on our programme. Well done Alex!
“Jamie was a member of the first cohort of students to join the programme in 2013 and Alex was in the second cohort. Both graduated with good degrees. Alex’s 1st Class Honours degree classification was boosted by an outstanding dissertation in his final year, based around the future development of Pelico as a business.”
Nick Sturge, regional chair of Institute of Directors South West, said: “Our student membership has been incredibly successful and we’re delighted to have brought the award back to the South West and to UWE Bristol for a second year. The feedback we get is that the membership really helps entrepreneurial students make valuable connections, gives them access to mentoring and ensures they develop not only a portfolio of practical business tools but also an understanding of the role of effective directors in a business that will stay with them for the rest of their career.”
The BA (Hons) Team Entrepreneurship course is one of only a handful of its type in the UK dedicated to giving undergraduates the practical experience to launch and run their own ventures.
An alternative to a traditional degree, students work to a tailored programme to equip themselves with entrepreneurial and teamwork skills ready to start businesses or become effective team players within dynamic and changing organisations. The course was inspired by successful methods pioneered in Finland and tested in Spain and Hungary. The programme’s undergraduates – known as Team Entrepreneurs – develop skills in everything from event and budget management to marketing, PR and graphic design.
The course is based in UWE Bristol’s new state-of-the-art £55 million Faculty of Business and Law building and is part of Bristol Business School, recently shortlisted in the Business School of the Year category of the Times Higher Education Awards 2017.