Top award for business student

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A UNIVERSITY undergraduate from West Chiltington has won a prestigious award and been crowned the PricewaterhouseCoopers and Bright Futures National Business Champion.

Baran Ceylan, aged 19, entered the competition open to university students nationwide which challenged him to come up with a workable money making idea and make it a reality.

Along with his fellow student and friend Matt at Bath University where he is reading Business, the former Hurstpierpoint head boy set up a company called BC&M Technologies.

Their winning idea was a voice recording pet ID tag. It allows owners to record personal information, and details of illnesses or ailments.

The entrepreneurial pair outsourced units from China, and developed their brand RECollar. They sold the tags on their bespoke website www.recollar.co.uk, as well as other retail outlets, for £4.99.

After winning regional heats, Baran and Matt made it to the national finals in March where they presented their company to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ directors. The judges were impressed and Baran’s company was awarded first place, winning him a six week placement on PricewaterhouseCoopers’ summer Insight Internship programme.

“The internship is very exciting as it will give us an opportunity to meet people in all areas of the firm and gives us the chance to prove our winning credentials,” Baran told Business Matters.

“The competition has given us a great insight into working at a major company, along with the experience of working alongside a mentor. It involved a few all-nighters but it was definitely worth it.”

Judges said it was not just the original idea and money generated that won them the competition, but the long term potential for the product and company. BC&M Technologies demonstrated a clear model for the future development of its product, and highlighted it was not purely a short-term venture for the competition.

Now, despite the competition being finished, Baran hopes to develop an SMS tracking pet tag using cell triangulations, which he feels will be a ‘hugely exciting’ next-step.