Bournemouth University student scoops top prize in genius competition

A Bournemouth University student has scooped top prize in a Local Genius Competition run by Barclays. The winning idea ‘Galleon’ clinched the title last week at Barclays Headquarters in Canary Wharf, and is an app that helps students to save money by making it easier for them to find student discounts from small and medium sized businesses in their local area.

By using the app, students can save money, and at the same time, support local businesses that struggle to get their discounts noticed. In short, saving students money while helping local businesses to thrive. 

The app is the brainchild of Josh Davies, who will now be provided the opportunity to work with Barclays subject matter experts to bring his idea to market.   In addition Josh will have six months free residency at his Local Eagle Lab in Bournemouth to work alongside local entrepreneurs and like-minded business people.

To qualify for the competition, the entries needed to be original, have a grounding in technology, contribute to the wellbeing of the local community, be realistic and achievable with readily available tech. 

Seventy students across the country initially entered the competition and their ideas went to a public vote where the entries were reduced down to just five finalists in five locations – Bournemouth, Manchester, Birmingham, Cambridge, and Brighton.  Josh had previously won the Bournemouth heat before going head to head with other regional winners at the national final.

Josh, who is studying finance and economics at Bournemouth University, said : “Although slightly nerve wracking, pitching my idea in front of the judges was a fantastic experience for me. Winning the national final has been amazing, to be invited to the 30th floor of Barclays headquarters is a dream come true and I couldn't be happier with how things went.”

Linda Hall, Chief Controls Officer, Barclays UK  and one of judges of the competition, said: “We were genuinely impressed with the range of ideas and the ability of the students who pitched to the judging panel. What made Josh’s pitch stand out from the others was not only his idea,  but his passion, research, and the planning he had put in place to bring his app to market. It was also clear that Josh has the entrepreneurial spirit we were searching for and we are looking forward to working with him in the future as he turns his app into reality.”

The panel of judges included Nick Phillips, Head of SRP Technology, Barclays UK, Akshaya Bhargava, former CEO of Barclays Wealth Entrepreneurs and Business Bank, Matt Hamworth, Co-founder and Director of Reason Digital and Ramesh Ardakani-Manoucherhri a Barclays colleague who won an internal competition to become the 5th judge on the panel.


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