One of the (many) great things about Global Entrepreneurship Week is its capacity to springboard initiatives of every shape and size. A good example this week comes courtesy of a group of design and media students from the UK proving that entrepreneurship need not be the domain of business school students or the suited and booted.
Whilst a fair few students can likely look back and reflect that beer played a pivotal role in their academic journey, there are not so many able to claim they have designed and produced their very own brew. The group from Glyndwr University in Wales can say just that though, having won a university-wide competition to have their own brand of ale bottled and produced. The contest was run in association with award-winning Scottish brewery ‘Brewdog’ as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2009, but as with many GEW initiatives the experience turned into a much longer-term initiative.
Mark Scott, Michelle Roberts, Oingyun Hu, Yz Wez and Phillip Chan were able to apply themselves to every aspect of the production process over the following months, designing the packaging and bottle, pitching the brand and helping decide the flavour of the brew. Having had their DVD pitch judged the winner by Brewdog founder James Watt, the students travelled to meet with Brewdog at their Scottish headquarters in order to discuss bringing their concept to life.
In a nod to local heritage, the group settled on the name ‘1412’. As Phillip Chan explains, “We chose the name 1412 as this was the year that the last sighting of Owain Glyndŵr was recorded. Winning the competition was great but I never thought we’d actually see the beer being brewed. It’s fantastic.”
After months of hard work, the first batch of the beer arrived in time to be launched at the university’s summer ball, and was also run on a limited basis at the student bar with a view to a trial-run as a guest ale in local pubs. Congratulations to all involved for a truly inspirational effort!