A recent graduate from Oxford Brookes is hoping to secure funding in his reusable coffee cup business after being selected to pitch to an investor panel at Venturefest Oxford next week (12 September).

Venturefest Oxford is the county’s premier networking event for entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and other like-minded people. It is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and is being hosted at Oxford Brookes University.

Venturefest’s long-standing Pitching for Success competition offers young businesses the chance to pitch for funding, mentoring or even skills, linked together with informative discussions from investor panels.

Harrison Hall graduated this year and studied Construction Project Management in the University’s School of the Built Environment.

His start-up business, OneCup, aims to reverse the habit of single use disposable food/drink containers by replacing them with quality reusables at point of need, starting with coffee cups.

Earlier this year Harrison received funding from the Brookes Enterprise Support Programme to trial his idea at one of the University’s cafes.

He has since developed his business plan to specifically focus on coffee consumers. This includes creating an app that will allow OneCup members to borrow reusable coffee cups at their point of use through their smartphones and creating a monthly membership cup-loaning scheme.

There are 20 local businesses taking part in the competition, with a cash prize of £1,000 up for grabs, plus a host of business support pacakges. Harry will be competing against nine other businesses in the afternoon session at Venturefest.

Harrison said: “It’s a great feeling to be part of Venturefest Oxford, especially when being hosted at Oxford Brookes, as this is where my business idea first began.”

“I’m looking forward to the Pitching for Success competition; if I am successful I will use the funding and guidance to help prove and refine the business model, then using the experts’ help and experience to expand into the Oxford area.

“While at Oxford Brookes I’ve had much enthusiasm and encouragement to believe in myself and the business I want to create.”

You can find out more about Harrison’s business OneCup and the others taking part in the Pitching for Success competition on the Venturefest website.

The Brookes Enterprise Support Programme provides funding and mentoring opportunities for business start-ups, social enterprises and entrepreneurial ideas. The programme is open to all students, staff and recent graduates.

Venturefest Oxford has four themes this year, focusing on technology sectors in Oxford that have the transformative potential for the local, UK and world economies:

  • Digital health
  • Quantum computing
  • Space
  • Autonomous vehicles

The event, taking place at the University’s Headington Campus, will showcase the technologies, the application and the opportunities within these sectors and will engage big business and investors in celebrating the potential of the county.

Oxford Brookes will be showcasing its research excellence with a number of exhibits and displays across the campus on the day.

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