Product Design student wins National Sports Entrepreneurship Competition

Helen's take on the traditional mess tin

Date posted

14 June 2018


Product design student Helen Traill has triumphed in Scotland’s only sports-specific startup competition with her idea for revolutionising camping and hillwalking equipment.

Helen’s product Eatin is an innovative and modern take on the traditional mess tin, and looks set to offer hillwalkers and campers the chance to make meals that are nutritious and exciting. Though still in the early stages, Eatin will be created from new materials; making use and clean up far easier.


The Sports Innovation Challenge – which began in 2014 and is managed by Sporting Chance Initiative at Stirling University Innovation Park – is a national competition for university and college students and recent graduates, seeking out the next generation of sports entrepreneurs. 

Entrants submit an early-stage idea for an innovative sports product, service or technology with the hope of winning a share of £15,000 cash, mentoring and office space at The Sport Hive – an on-campus facility and the UK’s first sports-specific business incubator.

Helen successfully pitched to a panel of judges made up of some of the biggest names in sport and entrepreneurship; including a senior designer from Adidas, the CEO of PureGym and Scottish entrepreneurs Bruce Walker and Neil Maclean.

Dr John Rodgers, Director of Research & Innovation at the University of Stirling, said: “The Sports Innovation Challenge has once again succeeded in finding an exciting group of young sports entrepreneurs from across Scotland. We’re delighted that they’ll be based with us here at the University of Stirling, not only in our capacity as Scotland’s University of Sporting Excellence, but as the home of the UK’s only dedicated sports business support facility.”

Ryan Carenduff, Programme Manager of Sporting Chance Initiative, heads up the Sports Innovation Challenge: “Helen immediately impressed the judging panel with her product knowledge and passion for actually getting out into the countryside and seeing the problems that hikers and campers face first-hand.

"Winning the Challenge is the first step in Helen’s journey towards getting Eatin to market; we’re all very excited to help her on that journey and see where she ends up.”

Helen said: “It feels great to be a part of the sports innovation challenge, the best thing about it for me is the amount of confidence I have gained already just from taking part.”

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