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Student wins top national entrepreneur award

Posted on 07/07/2011

A student from Royal Holloway, University of London has been commended for his “outstanding entrepreneurial business idea” at the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards.

A total prize fund of £44,000 was on offer for undergraduate and postgraduate students who submitted the strongest entrepreneurial propositions, providing them with the means to develop their ideas further.

Jack Lenox, an ancient History and Classics undergraduate, impressed judges with his online community for budding writers, beating 47 entries from universities across the UK to first prize and earning him a £5,000 grant.

Jack, who has always had an eye for entrepreneurial opportunities, set up Royal Holloway Entrepreneurs society in 2009 to help other students launch new business ventures. The society offers support and networking opportunities for students, as well as providing access to office facilities.

Now Jack is hoping that his own business venture is headed for success. His website, jottify.com which he dubs the “flickr for writers”, enables budding authors to post their work online where members can add comments and rate it and publishing companies can sign up to scout for new talent.

Jack, explains: “Writers can share ideas, get feedback and sell their work. The site converts it into iPad and Kindle formats so it is very easy to self publish. You can organise it according to what is rated as good, so it will show what work is commercial which is really useful for literary agents.”

Transworld, which publishes Dan Brown and Bill Bryson books, has already signed up to the site after Jack worked closely with agents at Random House to ensure the site appealed to publishers.

Students were asked to submit detailed business plans as part of their entry to the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards and then five finalists were invited to provide a formal pitch to the panel of judges. The winners were announced at a ceremony this week.

Jack said: “I’m really chuffed at the accolade more than the prize money. This has shown me that it’s at a stage that a bank has thought about putting money into the project. I am so glad to have won.”

Jack is now putting the finishing touches to his website and is planning a summer of promoting it at literary festivals across the UK.


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