A business created by two Loughborough College students has been named Young Enterprise Start-Up Company of the Year 2017 – with 3-Six Sports not only taking the crown at the national finals but Harry Rudkin and Jonah Boyce also scooping the Best Presentation title and Harry winning Student of the Year.
The duo are now set to compete in the European finals in Helsinki in June.
Fellow degree students Hanna D’Arcy and James Teagle’s Kitless Simply Perfit also reached the final with Loughborough one of only two colleges in the University-dominated line up of ten fledgling businesses from across the UK.
Harry and Jonah were challenged to deliver a Dragon’s Den-style pitch onstage, together with an elevator pitch at a trade stand they had designed and created, backing up a detailed business plan for The Stud Master, a durable universal tool to efficiently and safely attach and remove sport boot studs.
The pair are both 22 and ~studying for a BSc (Hons) in Sport Science with Management at Loughborough College and they have been friends for years.
“I think it is fair to say we have been on quite a journey through this process. In fact, the first paperwork we produced for this business was only given 36%. That was a real defining moment, giving us a kick in the right direction and from there on in we worked so hard,” said Jonah.
“When we found out we had got through to the national finals and it was pointed out that our original company name of Dynamic Sporting Solutions or DSS might remind some people of the Department of Social Security we decided to re-brand. We came up with 3-Six Sports to remind us of that first mark and as a kind of tribute to just how far we had come.
“Throughout us both playing rugby for years we had used inferior products which were not durable and not reliable – some breaking after the first use. We decided a simple solution to a simple problem was needed and came up with the high quality, effective and universal Stud Master.
“We had a basic prototype of our design produced so people could get a good feel for it and it has been great throughout this process to see our product winning people over – we know it has the potential for expansion.
“Harry has been exceptional. He is firmly the Managing Director of our company – and his individual award was certainly deserved. When the judges at the final got further and further into their announcement of the overall winner, we gradually realised, This could be us and then it reached a moment when they mentioned rugby and we thought, Oh my gosh, it actually is.
“The backing we have had from Loughborough College has been outstanding. Iqbal Ullah, the head of our course, is always there pushing us further than we thought we could go and Neelum Savania, who’s the Employment Advisor, has been so supportive. Eric Bradley chose to be our mentor at the regional final and he has been tremendous through this entire process.”
“It really has been fantastic how much help we’ve had from everyone,” agreed Harry. “The judges have put us in touch with people and given us great advice and less than 24 hours after we won, a major sport company has been in touch to say they are keen to sponsor us.
“The Helsinki final runs over two days and it feels quite overwhelming but we’ll do what we’ve been doing until now and just get our heads down. We’ve spoken to a manufacturer and are developing a working prototype, which is quite exciting.
“I still can’t believe we have won. I never thought I would be any good with the whole world of business and bringing a product to market but it has been a fantastic experience. Who knows what might happen next?”
Iqbal Ullah, who heads the Foundation Degree in Business Management at Loughborough College, added: “3-Six Sports triumphed from the midst of some very high quality competition - which adds to their achievement.
“Harry and Jonah demonstrated a natural ability to coordinate, plan, and disseminate all that was required for the progression of their enterprise. This is, perhaps, a quality drawn from their rugby roots. This is the outcome we look for in our Business Enterprise students. They have both emerged as leaders.
“The individual accolade awarded to Harry was highly deserved. He is the perfect example of a facilitative leader, subtle and unassuming. He is clear and on point with his communication with co-director Jonah but also equally comfortable to allow Jonah to lead.
“There has been genuine desire, professionalism and, importantly, realism and the result is a very effective and well-oiled machine.”
“It has been a pleasure to work with Harry and Jonah and all the Loughborough College businesses throughout this year’s competition,” said Neelum Savania. “3-Six Sports have a great product and they are more than ready to step up a gear to the European finals. They are a huge inspiration to all our students.”
Pictured: (left to right) Loughborough College degree students Harry Rudkin and Jonah Boyce of 3-Six Sports at their trade stand with their trophies after winning Young Enterprise Start-Up Company of the Year 2017 – as well as Best Presentation and, for Harry, Student of the Year
Elizabeth Udall, Communications Consultant:
Tel: 07515 852690