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Bath university student to launch premium dining rewards app

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Written by: Tim MacFarlan | Posted 14 April 2016 16:21

Bath university student to launch premium dining rewards app

A Bath university student has created an app for diners to find high-quality restaurants where they can earn reward points - which can be donated to charity.

James Courtney, a third-year business student at the University of Bath, is about to launch his premium dining rewards app after winning the university's business plan competition for the second year running.

The free app, called LUX, lets customers find local high-quality restaurants and earn a range of rewards from Red Letter Day when dining at them that can then be donated to local charities.

It enables restaurants to drive high-spending customers to their restaurants during quieter midweek times, building a customer base of affluent working professionals.

James is now putting his prize-winning pitch into practice, running his restaurant reward scheme at the Innovation Centre during the placement year of his Business Administration degree.

The Saltford 21-year-old is looking for local organisations to partner with LUX, which will make a donation to its chosen charities if those organisations endorse the scheme to their employees.

He is also looking for investors to provide the £75,000 he needs to reach his investment total of £150,000 as he prepares to launch his business in the Bath and Bristol area in the coming months.

LUX is a development of last year's prize-winning business idea, and he impressed the panel of judges with detailed financial projections and a solid, well-researched business strategy.

James has won a prize trip to New York and San Francisco where he will network with University alumni who are running businesses and working for some of the world's biggest companies, including Facebook, JPMorgan Chase and Eventbrite.

The prize has been funded by US-based university alumni.

James said: "Winning the business plan competition for a second year running is very special, particularly as my business is actually becoming a reality.

"The competition has helped me to develop my idea, provided me with links to investors, and given me the confidence to go forward with the idea.

"I can't wait for the trip to the States. Experiencing the start-up scene in San Francisco has been a dream for me in the last couple of years and I'm very much looking forward to meeting some inspirational alumni out there."

His mentor at the Innovation Centre, Siobain Hone, said: "James is a fantastic example of how far you can go when you get involved with enterprise initiatives as a student.

"He has taken full advantage of every opportunity to learn from the professionals who support the business plan competition and is now very well placed to embark on his own entrepreneurial career," said Siobain, who is the university's enterprise education manager.

Professor Veronica Hope Hailey, dean of the School of Management, said: "We're very proud to count James as one of our students.

"We're accustomed to our students spending their placement year at some of the UK's most prestigious companies and organisations, but to spend the year setting up and running your own business is an impressive undertaking and we wish him every success."

The business plan competition won by LUX is run by the university' student enterprise office, in partnership with Deloitte.

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