Students in Apprentice-style pitch to improve Coventry’s city centre

Student news

Thursday 12 April 2012

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In a team challenge worthy of Lord Sugar himself, enterprising students at Coventry University have been taking part in an Apprentice-style task to come up with ideas for improving the city centre.

The Inceptions Challenge, which was organised by the Association of Sustainable Night-time Economy Development (ASNED), invited undergraduates from Coventry University’s Business School to crank up their creativity and pitch their project plans to a scrupulous panel of councillors and city officials.

Teams of four had just 48 hours to consult industry experts and brainstorm realistic and achievable concepts designed to make Coventry a more attractive place to live, work and socialise – with a particular focus on improving its evening atmosphere.

The winning idea – thought up by Business Management students Zach Featherstone, Katarina Kostalikova, Evgenij Sagans and Igors Gornijs – involved bringing Coventry’s city centre streets to life with outdoor cafés and street performers, and called for an ‘international street’ to showcase food, drink and entertainment from around the world.

Coventry City Council, Coventry University Business School and ASNED are now set to explore how they might further develop the students’ ideas to benefit the city in the future.

Katarina Kostalikova, who was part of the winning team and who studies on the BA (Hons) Business Management degree at Coventry University, said:

The Inceptions Challenge gave us a unique opportunity to change the city we live in and make it more attractive to everyone. We got to speak to professionals in the city redevelopment industry and Coventry City Council members, who were all very helpful and supportive along the way. The greatest reward we could possibly get from this experience is actually seeing our ideas implemented in the city and being able to say ‘I was part of the team who came up with that’.

Mick Biggs, chief executive of ASNED and a member of the judging panel, said:

We were blown away by the quality of the ideas coming from the students. Coventry has some great plans for the built environment. The challenge was designed to complement that by getting people talking about, interacting with and developing the social soul of the city.

The Inceptions Challenge event was funded by the Faculty of Business, Environment and Society at Coventry University and was organised by ASNED in conjunction with Coventry City Council and a team from the University’s Department of Strategy and Applied Management – including Xavier Pierron (Senior Lecturer in Business Operations), Dalvinder Sanghera (Employment Personal Tutor) and Krish Saha (Graduate Teaching Assistant).