Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business

Inspiring Entrepreneurs Win Funding in Springboard Awards


The winners of the second Springboard Startup Fund for University of South Wales (USW) Graduate Startups 2020/21 have been unveiled.

Designed to give support to graduate entrepreneurs, and specifically to provide seed funding to USW graduates to start a new business, the awards also demonstrate USW’s commitment to supporting the Class of 2020 graduates, who are facing the most severe economic downturn in a generation, with a new Entrepreneurship Pitching Fund.

All those who entered the awards had to be 2020 USW graduates and be either at pre-start-up stage, or within the first six months of trading.

The winners faced tough competition, with a total of 35 applications – which is a threefold increase from the first round in November 2020.

Eight of strongest business ideas were shortlisted to pitch to a panel of judges chaired by Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, Assistant Pro Chancellor at USW; two USW graduate entrepreneurs – Kevin Mansell-Abell, founder of That Media Group, and Cherry Barber-Mansell, founder of The White Tent Company – and Francesca James, founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

Professor Jones-Evans said:

“Enterprise and entrepreneurship are a key part of our activities at the University of South Wales and it was great to see that an increasing number of our graduates are now taking the leap to working for themselves.

“The quality of the applications for this round of Springboard funding was exceptionally high and I am delighted that some exceptional new businesses are being supported by the University.”

The winners:

Matt Rees – I’ve Gone Local – £2,500

I’ve Gone Local is a website that makes it easier to shop locally while supporting independent businesses. Users can put the favourite products from their best-loved local shops into one virtual basket, without the hassle of signing up to multiple websites or trawling social media for hours on end. – Facebook: @ivegonelocal – Instagram: ivegonelocal – Twitter: @ivegonelocal

Diana Finlay and Sebastian Gallop & seven other USW creative industries graduates – Jamie Lamb (game designer), Owen Withey, Red Corder-Duffield (game designer), George Laxon, Georgia Daniels, Curtis Brigden, and Rebecca Woods – Define Logic Studios – £2,500

Define Logic Studios is a working game studio whose first title, Scientific Shutdown, is set for release at the end of July. There are plans in hand to start on the next title. Define Logic Solutions will be an outsourcing company, working with other indie developers and other businesses to bring their digital ideas to life. – Twitter: @DefineLogicUSW – Instagram: @DefineLogicUSW

Jake Spanswick and Quinn Byron-Dyer – Blank Pixel Games – £2,000

Blank Pixel Games Ltd is an Indie Video Game Studio dedicated to developing and publishing unique video games used for instructional and educational scenarios. Specialising in Unreal Engine, the team aims to bridge the gap between education and gaming entertainment.

Chloe Carter – Because Animals Are Worthwhile – £1,600

Equine student Chloe has been able to use the Springboard Start-Up Award to create a social enterprise, with peer Vanessa Hall, which creates eco-friendly essential pet care items.

With many animals now in adoption shelters across the UK, especially in these harder times, the team wanted to help them and their army of volunteers and workers by setting up Because Animals Are Worthwhile.

Through the enterprise, every time a customer buys a product from them, a donation of an identical product is made to an animal in need in a local shelter.

Twitter @AnimalsAreWW – Instagram @animalsareworthwhile – Facebook:

Damaris Landers and business partner, Luke Dance  – Biodivers – £1,400

Biodivers is a scuba diving, yoga, and vegan pizza experience operating across South Wales, through which customers get a day filled with yoga for divers on the beach, followed by two guided scuba dives at one of its carefully selected diving locations, an optional beach clean, and, to finish off their day, a freshly-made vegan pizza. All products and services offered by Biodivers are eco-focused and eco-friendly.

Instagram @biodivers_uk – Twitter @BiodiversUK – Facebook | Biodivers