DCFE student claims overall prize at Corkscrew Erasmus Programme

Congratulations to DCFE Art student, Roisin Conlon and her team, who won the overall prize, with their 'Give A Gaff' business development plan at the Corkscrew Erasmus Programme in Exeter. The following article was written by Roisin, explaining her wining idea. 


As part of the Corkscrew Program, we were asked to make a final pitch on a business idea that we created ourselves. We had two days to come up with a business idea and the final day was spent pitching it alongside a powerpoint presentation to Neill Finnie and his co-workers in The Generator, a co working space on the Quay.

We started by splitting ourselves up into groups of three and choosing one social, political or environmental issue that requires a solution. My group chose Homelessness as we felt it is a huge issue that can and should be tackled but is too underfunded to do so. We had about thirty minutes to generate solutions to homelessness and a rough plan of a possible business idea. By the end of this time we were focused on a product for children that raises awareness about homelessness while also contributes its profits from sales to a larger company.

Each team then pitched their ideas to the class as well as any other students who wished to pitch personal business ideas they wished to pursue during the program. Once we all pitched, the best ideas were selected. This was when our team split up into one pursing their own idea and Karl and I carrying our idea forward to develop it.

We spent the next day developing a feasible business idea to combat the homelessness crisis. Our final product was, Children’s Cardboard Flat-Pack Playhouses with a high percentage of profits made being directly invested into an established flatpack developing company that could provide long term sustainable flat pack housing for the homeless. We called ourselves Give A Gaff.

The main principals for our idea:

* The cardboard flat pack playhouses were made from cardboard as it would mimic the living conditions of those sleeping rough.

* We targeted families and children as it would start a talking point for children when they discovered their playhouses were made of a weak and fragile material that would overtime become battered and unplayable.

* It teaches children of the reality of homelessness and we hope that it would educate them enough to allow them as the next generation to make an impact in combatting homelessness.

* We wanted families and children to know that while they come together to build their cardboard playhouse that meanwhile as a result of their investment in our product that a homeless family somewhere else is watching their own flatpack house being erected by our partnering developers.

By investing in our product, you are investing in housing homeless families in long term sustainable accommodation.

After creating a powerpoint and pitching our idea to Neill and his team, we were announced winners due to the feasibility of our idea and our ability to present it with passion and professionality to the team. As a result of winning, we were asked to fix up some loose ends and pursue our idea through help from Neill. 

Roisin Conlon