By Ben Simmons
Student entrepreneurs with bright ideas are being encouraged at Lancaster University, where two new products are being developed for the mass market by undergraduates.
One of the products is a water bottle which refills with juice invented by Zac Garton, who is studying for a BA in Entrepreneurship at Lancaster University Management School.
Zac said: “I was a joiner’s apprentice when I left school - it was then that I realised I would never be happy working for someone else so I left and enrolled in college . The attraction to me was finally doing something I truly wanted to do and having the opportunity to achieve what so few people do in creating a successful business.
His invention works as a removable filter that contains a changeable capsule. The unique feature of this design is that it uses tap water and the capsules will flavour multiple bottles of water making the product cheaper and environmentally friendly.
The other product which will hit the high street of the future is a redesigned asthma inhaler container developed by Kitson Broadhurst who is studying for an MEng in Engineering.
“I’m an engineer so I like to tinker and improve things and I wanted to remove some of the stigma of having an inhaler. I’ve had asthma all my life but for someone my age, I thought it would be better smaller and without a protruding corner so the inhaler fits in your pocket better.”
He has also personalised the inhaler, developing designs based on TV characters for children and with plans for branded inhalers for teenagers, which they aim to sell on the high street and online.
Joe Buglass of Lancaster University Students Union Involve, who provides contacts and advice to budding student entrepreneurs, said the pair had a great future.
“Both of them have the tenacity, the ideas and the drive to make things happen and we already have companies in the UK who are interested in helping them. “
The two inventors are now seeking funds to manufacture in China, with the help and advice of LUSU Involve and Allan Rennie of the University’s Product Development Unit who made the prototypes of a new asthma inhaler and bottle top.
Kitson said: “It’s so easy to be an entrepreneur at university , even without money, because there is so much help on offer. I want to make my own job rather than end up in a job I don’t like and now is the time to do it when you have the opportunity.”
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