Two Swansea University students went looking for a way of getting to Uni on bikes that worked, looked good and didn’t cost and arm and a leg. So instead of going to a shop they set up their own company.
That company “Mango Bikes” has just been awarded £50,000 by leading entrepreneur and co-founder of Innocent Drinks, Richard Reed, who has been on the hunt for the next generation of start-up superstars.
Entrepreneurs Jeremy (Jezz) Skelton and Benedict (Ben) Harrison were housemates at Swansea University when they came up with the idea that people should be able to design their own bike. Jeremy has just graduated with a BSc in Business Management (Marketing) from the University and Ben is in his third year of his BSc Economics course.
Both Ben and Jezz had raced and ridden bikes since their early teens.
Ben had worked on the mountain bike World Cup circuit as a mechanic for some of the biggest teams in the world and knows how to build and maintain them to the highest standard. Ben looks after the buying, stock control and logistical side of the business. When he’s not doing something with 2 wheels, studying or sending latest designs to the factory he’ll be power kiting, karting, cliff jumping or doing something with a risk involved – probably the reason why he went ahead with Mango Bikes in the first place!
Jezz is a keen motocross rider and knows how to thrash bikes and this is what he does when he’s not on a Mango. Jezz looks after the marketing side of the business. He’s always been determined to be his own boss and is always looking for new ideas. The clean, simple, modern and cool brand of Mango is thanks to Jezz’s imagination and vision.
Ben and Jezz enjoyed their time at Swansea University and feel that the experience and skills learnt during their Swansea University degree course has helped them to develop and market their business.
Richard Reed’s search to invest in the right people with the best ideas is currently being shown on the Be Your Own Boss BBC Three programme. Last night’s programme, the first in the series, showed Jezz and Ben up against tough competition and after a tense wait Jezz and Ben became the first team to be awarded funding by Richard for their business on the TV programme.
Richard has up to £1 million to invest in the right people with the best ideas. He handed the best 500 applicants some cash to see just how easily they could turn a profit. Disregarding traditional elimination formats, Richard drew on his own business philosophy to help determine who should have a chance to turn business dreams into reality.
Mango Bikes offer custom design bikes which are colourful but built to people’s own specifications. For more information go to www.mangobikes.co.uk
- Monday 1 October 2012 01.00 BST
- Thursday 13 September 2012 19.16 BST
- Swansea University, Tel: 01792 295050