On the 3rd of May 2011, the winners of the 2nd Oxford Brookes “Bespoke Hotels Group – Entrepreneur of the Year” were announced.As the final assessment for their Hospitality & Tourism Entrepreneurship module, Oxford Brookes University students had to pitch in Dragon’s Den style an innovative hospitality or tourism product or service to a panel of successful hospitality and tourism entrepreneurs, gathered at the Bermondsey Square Hotel in London.
Whilst Dragons commented on the high quality of the almost 40 presentations, two student projects really stood out:
1st Prize: Alice Ogle with her brilliant Baby Hotel concept – A resort where women can give birth in a luxurious, comfortable and homely environment. Dragons on the panel where very impressed not only with the originality of Alice’s idea and professional presentation but also with the attention to detail and creativity of her support material. Alice’s prize will consist of a cheque for £500 + a £500 Bespoke Hotels voucher.
2nd Prize: Cornelia Grossman – An absolutely perfectly executed presentation on a hospitality social enterprise in Ethiopia (Harar Coffee Lodge). Dragons on the panel were extremely impressed with Cornelia’s destination and product knowledge and the social enterprise dimension of the proposal was also very well thought through and tightly linked to the business component. Cornelia’s prize will be a Magnum of Champagne.
Roberto Daniele, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Marketing at Oxford Brookes commented on the event:
“As the industry requires more and more innovation to maintain the competitiveness of its products, it is important that we ensure that graduates entering the field become drivers of entrepreneurialism and innovation. The very generous sponsorship support of Bespoke Hotels Group together with the involvement in the module of so many successful hospitality entrepreneurs is a testament not only to the quality of our programmes and students but also to the willingness and enthusiasm of industry to provide input into the education and development of future industry leaders and entrepreneurs.”
Dragons involved in the Oxford Brookes Hospitality and Tourism Entrepreneurship module include:
Robin Sheppard – Chairman, Bespoke Hotels
Lee Cash & Hamish Stoddard – Founders and Directors, Peach Pubs
Gerard Greene – CEO, Yotel
Lou Willcock – Director, Indicater
Sam Wood – Director, Advantage42
Paul Bloomfield – Director, Zest Catering
Joe Levin – Director of Hospitality Services EMEA, Goldman Sachs
Annette Mathers – Director, The Creative Venue
Sam Harrison – Owner & Director Sam’s Brasserie
Rupert Power – Owner & Director Sophie’s SteakHouse
Marcelo de Oliveira – Owner Greens Café and Verde Restaurant