Tristan is a former Brighton Aldridge Community Academy student.

The ability to problem-solve is an essential skill. The Aldridge Foundation approach challenges students at the academies it works with to learn to solve challenges with confidence. This is evident in the story of Tristan Kibble, who weathered the ups and downs of starting a business while still in his first sixth-form year, and went on to impress the University of West of England with his quick thinking.

Before Tristan Kibble took ‘Team Academy’ at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy, he had never considered starting his own business. But as the sixth-form student prepares to leave the school for the University of the West of England he does so with experience in pitching, fundraising, hiring and firing. “Running a business is a lot harder than people think,” he says. “It’s not all fun and games.”
Entrepreneurship certainly isn’t child’s play, but Tristan’s story does involve some. “I love videogames, so my business idea was always going to include them,” he explains. Tristan kicked things off with a FIFA tournament in the canteen at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy. “We had 32 Year 7 students sign up and charged £3 per head,” he explains. With one successful event under his belt, Tristan hired four more of his peers to join the project and set about organising a charity event. When 200 people showed up to watch a game of FIFA, the young entrepreneur knew he was on to a good thing.

“We decided to take the business further and signed up for Young Start-Up Talent,” he says. “We were the youngest team in the competition and came runner up. We went on local radio and had the chance to create a brochure for the business.”

Tristan and his team have honed their business plan and USP during the prize process. Digi Daz, their enterprise, was born – with the mission of educating through gaming.

“Kids are learning from video games without even realising,” he explains. “We want parents to know that their kids might be in their room playing consoles but they’re learning communication, problem-solving and storytelling skills.”

With Digi Daz up and running (and registered with Companies House) Tristan embarked on an induction day at UWE, to prepare for a degree in Business and Entrepreneurship. Part of the induction involved teaming up with other students to solve a problem facing an undergraduate business. They had 45 minutes to formulate an idea and pitch their plan. “I ended up leading my team because the others didn’t have any experience in pitching or crafting USPs,” says Tristan.
His experience did not go unnoticed. With an offer on the table, with no need for an interview he simply needs to get one distinction and two merits: “I’m on for two distinction stars and one distinction so I’m confident,” he smiles. Rightly so.