Award-winning Scots entrepreneur launches University leg of national competition

As part of a strategic partnership between the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) and Robert Gordon University, Mick Jackson, the award-winning founder of Scots charity WildHearts, will help launch the University's leg of the SIE New Ideas Competition tonight (Wednesday 10 November) at the Foyer at His Majesty's Theatre from 7.30pm.

Mick-Jackson.jpgFor the first time, the University is set to run its New Business Ideas Challenge across its three faculties of Design and Technology, Health and Social Care and Aberdeen Business School (ABS), before taking part in the Scottish Institute for Enterprise's national competition.

The SIE New Ideas Competition gives students and recent graduates the opportunity to win £1500 towards an idea for a new product, business or social enterprise.

The University leg of the competition is part of the new Charles P Skene Entrepreneurship Programme, and will introduce students to the newly-formed University Business Incubator, which can help students turn their business ideas into viable commercial ventures.

Universities across Scotland run local challenges within their institution and then the best ideas go forward to the main competition, where participants are given full support from the institute to develop their business know-how.

The competition at Robert Gordon University aims to pit students from the three different faculties against each other in order to generate a range of new business ideas in areas such as art, design, pharmacy, marketing and retail.

Dr John Park, Programme Leader in Entrepreneurship at the University, explains:

"By running the University leg of the competition before the national heats, we aim to recognise that we have three distinct faculties, each with students full of innovative ideas.

"The Entrepreneurship Programme seeks to instil the process of generating new ideas into the minds of the entire student population, not just our business students, to capitalise on the knowledge and skills learned in each Faculty."

Mick, named ‘Top Scot' and ‘Entrepreneur of the Year' at the prestigious Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards in 2007, is a serial entrepreneur, venture philanthropist, international business speaker and author. He will address students at the launch with an inspiring talk on his award-winning venture, WildHearts in Action, demonstrating that businesses can have a strong social impact in the hope that this will drive broader engagement in enterprise within the student population.

During the University competition, judges will be focusing on ideas most relevant to students' chosen fields of study.

Students from all three faculties will put their ideas to the judges in January 2011, when three winners from each Faculty will be chosen. Judges will focus on ideas most relevant to students' chosen fields of study. The best three ideas from each Faculty will then be further refined to define genuine commercial viability, with the help of the University's Business Incubator, before being entered into the SIE National Competition as business propositions.

Integral to developing the relationship between the University and SIE have been the Institute's Student Intern Champions of Entrepreneurship at the University, Glenn Buchan, Robert Wavell and Mike Queen, who have helped to organise the competition and launch.

Glenn, (21) a fourth-year Management student at ABS, set up his own marketing company, Adspad Ltd, enabling business to gain exposure to the student population. Since starting the business in 2009, the company has won numerous awards and has several nationally-recognised clients including Cineworld, the Scottish Opera and Aberdeen Performing Arts. Glenn comments: "The SIE competition provides the entrepreneurs of the future with the funding and support to get their business ideas off the ground. Mick's help in launching the competition will hopefully provide students with the inspiration to go away and cultivate their initial ideas."

During the launch evening, students will have the opportunity to meet Mick and also explore the support available to students from the University's Entrepreneurship Programme.

Notes to Editors:

There will be an opportunity to photograph Dr John Park and WildHearts in Action founder, Mick Jackson, in the Foyer at HMT this evening (Wednesday 10 November) at 7.15pm. Dr Park will meet members of the media at reception.

Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE):

  • The Scottish Institute for Enterprise works with all nineteen Higher Education Institutions in Scotland to deliver seminars, events and support by which to develop the entrepreneurial skills of Scotland's students.
  • The Institute works directly with students and academics by helping to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and skills and by providing business development coaching, resources and networks.
  • For more information, please visit


  • WildHearts is a registered charity and office supplies company that donates all its profits to the poor. Created to allow businesses to make a difference and donate to charity whilst making a living, WildHearts combines entrepreneurial expertise and efficiency with philanthropy.
  • For more information, please visit

Issued by:

Sarah Grieve
Communications Office
Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR

Tel: 01224 262206