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How would
you solve
a student money problem?
This challenge is closed and the winners have been announced
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Challenge winners
GOLD: Kristi Kuiken
The gold winner of our LifeStart challenges is Kristi Kuiken from London College of Fashion. She’s pitched Podium, a great way to practice public speaking using VR which simulates a presentation environment. Kristi won £1000 in cash, £100 Virgin Experience Days voucher, Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone, DeX Station, Gear 360 camera and Gear VR Headset as well as mentoring from Virgin. Well deserved, Kristi
SILVER: Ellen Cartwright & Marc Berges
Our silver winner of LifeStart challenges is Ellen Cartwright and team mate Marc Berges from Hult International Business School! They've found a genius way of saving money every time you make a purchase by rounding it up to the nearest pound. The more you spend, the more you save. They won £500 in cash, £100 Virgin Experience Days voucher, Samsung 360 camera, Gear VR Headset, Gear Fit 2 Pro as well as mentoring from Virgin. Great work, Ellen and Marc.
BRONZE: Stefan Kudev
Our bronze winner is Stefan Kudev from Birmingham City University with his proposal for a handy banking app. He’s found a nifty way to cut down on spending in your grocery shopping. Stefan won £250 in cash, a £100 Virgin Experience Days voucher, a Samsung 360 camera and Gear VR Headset as well as mentoring from Virgin Money UK.
What you need to know
The challenge

Money makes the world go around as they say and many people are effected by money challenges, not least students in the UK.

The average students spends £22,000 per year on tuition fees and living costs, graduating with £44,000 in debt on average. Over 80% of students are concerned about debt levels. While 60% of undergrads regularly worry about meeting basic expenses including rent and bills.

Money can be a big challenge for many students now and in the future, yet much of the money information is either boring or convoluted.

What do your fellow students think about their money situation? How did they and do they deal with money on a day to day basis? What are their major concerns and how do they plan to solve them? What tools do they find useful?

Do some desk and primary research to understand some of the main challenges students have with money.

Come up with a way that would help you and your fellow students deal with money issues.

What would you develop to engage your peers? How would you promote it? How would you encourage students to take an active role in improving their money situation? How would you make it successful?

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Sir Richard Branson is a philanthropist and billionaire founder of the Virgin group. However, nearly 50 years ago, before he launched his first Virgin company, he founded a magazine called Student. He once said to Business 2.0 Magazin
"There wasn't a national magazine run by students, for students. I didn't like the way I was being taught at school. I didn't like what was going on in the world, and I wanted to put it right"
The Student launched in 1968 and gave young people a voice. It challenged perceptions, covering everything from pop culture and music to the Vietnam and Biafra wars.
At the time he had none of the resources or money he has now. Imagine you are thinking how Richard did then and considering the challenges students have at University, particularly with money. Come up with a way that would help you and your fellow students deal with money issues?

What would you develop to engage your peers? How would you promote it? How would you encourage students to take an active role in improving their money situation? How would you make it successful?
What skills do you need to enter a challenge
What skills do you need to enter a challenge

To complete this Challenge, you will need to build on your skills and knowledge.

Student magazine was entertaining, but it was also founded to raise awareness and support causes that are relevant today. Research them, and it might give you some ideas. Also, look at what is available to you today.

As you explore issues, it will be important to employ some idea generation and validation techniques.

You will also need some basic understanding of personal finance, and budgeting to come up with ways students can save, budget and manage money better.

Finally, you’ll also want to understand and explain how you can design and deliver outstanding user experiences.

Ideas to get you thinking

A mobile app that tracks, manages and improves your spending.
An artificial intelligence tool that guides you to spend your money better.
A crowd shopping aggregator that helps you bulk buy and save on your weekly shop.
A step by step video guide to creating fantastic meals on a tight budget.
Anything else you can think of!

Questions that you could explore
What issues do students face today?
How can you help students make most of their money today?
How would you turn your idea into reality?
How would you fund your idea?

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Remember, you can be as creative and visionary as you like. We want to see great ideas and innovative applications of new technologies.

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