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Winning business idea for lecturer

A business dream is about to become a reality for University College Falmouth lecturer, Andy Neal.

The local Graphic Design lecturer scooped prizes in two out of six categories in the University of Plymouth's South West entrepreneur competition, Business Ideas Challenge, last week.

Honeygum logoAndy was awarded both the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) and Cowlin Special Environment Awards for his winning business idea, HoneygumTM surf wax, a 'natural' biodegradable alternative to the usual paraffin waxes currently dominating the surfing market.

Made with a beeswax base, Andy hopes that his product will go some way to counteracting the environmental damage done to our beaches and seas by regular surf wax and surf products in general. It is estimated that around 50 tonnes of used surf wax is generated in the UK alone each year.

Andy, who has surfed for around twenty years, has a great love of the sport and of the environment and wanted to give something back: "As sustainable and environmental issues have come to the forefront, the more I have wanted to make this happen. The wax is really an advert for a way of life, bringing together the social, spiritual and environmental philosophies of both surfing and sustainability. I felt so strongly about this, that I even contemplated giving it away for free to other surfers."

Andy NealAndy's wife, Kate, says the Business Ideas Challenge has given him the opportunity to take his idea and make it a reality: "Andy has had the idea for about five years, and this competition has given him the push to finalise his thoughts and make a proper business plan. I think the competition is a really positive initiative which has given Andy, me and our children something that we can take forward and work together on as a family."

Peter Castell, CUC Business Development Manager, presented Andy with his award: "I am delighted to be part of this. There has been very important investment in Higher Education in Cornwall, and if we are going to see economic return for the county in the long term, then encouraging entrepreneurs through initiatives such as the Business Ideas Challenge is very important."

Dawn SuttonSecond prize in the CUC category went to 16 year old Dawn Sutton, an A Level student at Truro College, who also won the Special Achievement Award for her business idea to design technology that will hide unsightly hinges on cupboards and doors. Peter Castell said Dawn's achievement proved the importance of encouraging entrepreneurship from school upwards.

Thanks go to all of the sponsors whose £42,000 investment in the competition made the event possible.

For further information please contact Emma Stallard, Combined Universities in Cornwall PR and Communications Officer, on 01326 370446/07717 377581 or email

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF).


Editor's notes:

The Combined Universities in Cornwall is a dynamic and visionary partnership that is one of the driving forces behind Cornwall's economic renaissance. This partnership combines the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, University College Falmouth, The Open University, The College of St Mark & St John, and the Peninsula Medical School, with Cornwall's Further Education colleges - Cornwall College, Truro College and Penwith College. It aims not only to provide the students of the future with more choice and greater opportunities, but also to boost the economic fortunes of the region for the benefit of one and all.

The CUC initiative has been invested in by the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the South West Regional Development Agency, Cornwall County Council and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.


Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

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