Rebecca Pick, a student in the University’s Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, won the undergraduate prize at the 2015 Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards for her personal safety alarm company, Pick Protection.
Rebecca has developed a wearable alarm linked to a round-the-clock monitoring service. The device, known as the Personal Guardian, is due to become commercially available in October. Rebecca received her prize of £5,000, a certificate and a trophy at a ceremony at Santander UK’s headquarters in London. She then received her BA honours degree in Marketing and Enterprise during a ceremony at Strathclyde’s Barony Hall.
Rebecca, who is 21 and previously lived in York and Drumnadrochit in Highland, said: “I’m mainly marketing the safety device as an alarm for lone workers and the student market. It’s designed to be discreetly attached to clothing and it gives off an alarm silently.
“I had the idea for the alarm after hearing of an incident near where I live, when a woman was attacked and no one came to help. There’s a risk for people who go out alone for their work and their employers have duty of care to them; there’ll be someone at the other end to answer the call if they set off their alarm.
“It’s great to have won the award from Santander against some very stiff competition. I was encouraged to apply by Dr Calum Forsyth, an Enterprise Adviser at Strathclyde.
“Quite a bit of work had to go into the initial business plan but the hardest part was 20-minute presentation, followed by 10 minutes of questions – there were some tough questions asked!”
Pick Protection recently secured £60,000 funding from Gabriel Investments, an angel syndicate which assists early stage business ventures. Rebecca has also been supported in establishing her business by the Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network (SEN), a collaborative network which brings together the University’s academic and professional services to support enterprise and commercialisation activity.
As part of this, she was chosen to take part in SEN’s Rising Stars programme, which offers office space, dedicated mentoring and other networking opportunities to student and graduate entrepreneurs. Rebecca said: “I’ve had fantastic support from Strathclyde, through the Hunter Centre and SEN, and from Gabriel. I was introduced to experienced business people who were well-placed to help and I hope to be in a good position to grow the business.”
More information on Pick Protection can be seen at www.pickprotection.com