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Bee-Released Counselling wins Enterprise Showcase Startup of the Year

A counselling service with a difference, has won £4,000 of business support after being crowned Startup of the Year at the University of Portsmouth’s Enterprise Showcase.

Over 130 guests attended the sixth Enterprise Showcase hosted by the University’s start-up incubator nest.

Founded by MSc Criminal Justice student Bianca Nicholson, Bee-Released Counselling, provides mental health support away from the clinical setting, utilising a range of tactile and sensory methods developed through 3D printing.

Bianca and her business will now be supported by a range of companies to develop her service including Innovation Space, FlyHigh Media, Warner Goodman LLP, Uber, Santander, Wilkins Kennedy well as design services from 99designs.

Bianca said: “My journey from higher education to becoming a CEO of my own business has been a rollercoaster ride. I am absolutely thrilled to have been awarded the prestigious Start up of the Year award from the nest team. I am proof that hard work, positivity and resilience pay off!”

Over 130 guests attended the sixth Enterprise Showcase hosted by the University’s start-up incubator nest. The event included a packed exhibition of ‘Startups to Watch’ – student and graduate businesses from a range of industries including sustainable fashion, stationary, counselling, product design, computer games and animation.

The awards ceremony included a speech from Will King, The King of Shaves, focussing on his journey and some top tips for future entrepreneurs.

Eilish Gorse, Enterprise Adviser at the University’s Department of Employability and event co-host, explained: “The showcase was our busiest to date and the atmosphere was alive with celebration and positivity. We were overwhelmed with the quality of the work and the professionalism of all our students and graduates. We look forward to watching our Startups to Watch grow their businesses and succeed in their future endeavours.”

Other award winners included:

Route to Startup Standout Student – Nikoletta Csaben

Self-Employment Placement Standout Student – Studio Wanderlust

Startup Funding Standout Student Award – Matthew Galvin

Social Startup Award – Stanley Palmer

Enterprise Educators Award – Gavin Knight

Student and Graduate Entrepreneurial Spirit of the Year – Hugh Hegarty

Staff Entrepreneurial Spirit of the Year – Lynn Leach

Full details of the winners and nominees can be found on the nest website. You can find out more about the University’s student enterprise activities by emailing or at

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