A group of young entrepreneurs were given a master class in business at a hub for local start-up companies.
The Year 12 Heolddu Comprehensive School pupils from Bargoed have launched portable stands to hold mobile phones and tablets, winning Best Company 2014 at the Caerphilly, Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent Young Enterprise Awards for their company Hexaphone.
They will now compete in the all Wales final in Cardiff on June 17 and visited business hub Welsh ICE in Caerphilly to hone their presentation and business plan for the competition.
Hexaphone has already come a long way since launching the product, the Handy-Stand, as part of their Welsh Baccalaureate, having applied for a patent, secured a number of deals with leading companies and met Assembly Members at The Senedd.
The company, made up of Ryan Williams-Griffiths, Callum Rosser, Callum Pascoe, Georgia Sutcliffe, Lucy Roach and Ieuan Griffiths, have also made a deal with the cancer charity Macmillan to produce the stands with their logo on to sell for charity.
Welsh ICE CEO, Gareth Jones, said: “It’s important for them to realise how much they’ve achieved already.
“Although this started as a school project it has the ability to become a real business opportunity.
“At ICE we have the ability to help them so we thought ‘well why not.”
Technology teacher, Julie Hovestadt, said: “Its been great to put ideas around like-minded people, their confidence has been boosted ahead of the Wales final.”
Pupils from Crownbridge School in Torfaen also attended Welsh ICE on May 23 as winners of the Young Enterprise Best Team Award. The school which caters for people with severe learning difficulties now hosts a café thanks to pupils Tom Hollyfield, Emma Hughes, Abigail Waters, Aimee Price and Joe Pearce.