Venture Further awards celebrate student and alumni entrepreneurs
The winners of Manchester Enterprise Centre’s annual Venture Further business start-up competition were revealed at an awards ceremony at the Museum of Science and Industry.
Seven burgeoning businesses have secured a share of a £50,000 prize pot after being announced as winners of the Venture Further awards, the annual start-up competition run by Manchester Enterprise Centre, which is based in Manchester Business School. These cash awards will enable the budding entrepreneurs to get their ideas off the ground and develop promising businesses.
Open to all students and recent alumni of the University, the competition received a total of 68 entries across the four prize categories: Business, Social, Technology and Graphene.
After submitting their detailed business proposals for consideration, the 13 shortlisted finalists then had to pitch their idea to a panel of expert judges. All four University faculties produced category winners, who were announced at an awards dinner at the Museum of Science and Industry on Thursday, 8 May.
Lynn Sheppard, Director of Manchester Enterprise Centre, said: “The standard of entries was the best we have ever seen. We seek to give people the skills, confidence and vital funding to identify and act on new opportunities.
“It’s inspiring to see so many entrepreneurial students and graduates from a range of disciplines that are serious about starting their own business.”
Dr Martin Henery, Venture Further Competition Director, said: “This year, we received an incredible mix of business proposals addressing major problems, social issues and the use of new technologies.
“Finding early stage funding – to go from an idea to an actual business – is one of the most difficult hurdles that entrepreneurs face, and the cash prizes in this competition will enable the winning teams to continue to develop their business ideas.”
First prize (£10,000) – BrumBrumBeepBeep
BrumBrumBeepBeep.com improves the learning to drive experience by helping learner drivers to find and compare pre-screened independent driving instructors and book and pay for lessons online. It helps driving instructors to better run and manage their business and provide a higher quality learning experience to their pupils.
Gareth Wilson MBA alumnus – Manchester Business School
Neil Wilson (external)
Second prize (£2,500) – Ranata
Ranata is a revolutionary enterprise that specialises in Portuguese egg tarts. The passion for our shared background and home-made high quality food is the key to our success. The rustic appearance and unique texture of our egg tarts is the irresistible temptation for all generations.
Aimee Tam BSc Psychology – School of Psychological Sciences
Rita Patricio BAEcon Economics – School of Social Sciences
First prize (£10,000) – Little Missing Piece Co.
The Little Missing Piece Co. aims to provide a little piece of advice, support and guidance for the autistic community. By empowering parents and carers with clinical expertise for at-home behavioural support solutions, it will ensure quality care practices for all.
Ryan Anthony Shoesmith BSc Psychology – School of Psychological Sciences
Second prize (£2,500) - PrizeDream
PrizeDream aims to be the UK’s leading fundraising platform, designed to raise money for charity while offering donors the chance to win exclusive ‘once in a lifetime’ experiences. PrizeDream intends to revolutionise the current fundraising models and create a marketplace where there is a unique incentive for everyone to donate.
Monique Anderson BSc Management (International Studies) – Manchester Business School
First prize (£10,000) – Biorelate
Biorelate is a unique provider of rapidly built and expertly curated life science databases for drug discovery and validation. It uses novel, state-of-the-art software with expert curation to extract complex data from published literature. This enables them to build bespoke knowledge databases far quicker than current solutions.
Daniel Jamieson PhD – Faculty of Life Sciences/School of Computer Science
Radu Nedelcu BSc Computer Science with Business Management – School of Computer Science
Second prize (£2,500) – Tripto
This e-Agri product was designed to bridge the gap between state-of-the-art and developing farming industries, allowing a huge population to maximise their crop yield at a relatively low cost. The implementation of the device ties in with the Big Data initiative as global sensor networks record valuable information.
Charles M Veys MEng Mechatronic Engineering – School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Max Szolcek MEng Electronic Systems Engineering – School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Nigel Sheng Yu Tee MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering – School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Lucky Lim MEng Mechatronic Engineering – School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Keshav Ramduny MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering – School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Development Award (£5,000) – GO Filters
GO Filters is a graphene oxide-based membrane that can effectively extract lithium ions, which are used in modern-day batteries, from seawater. Current lithium extraction methods are time consuming and costly. GO Filters is a novel, cost-effective extraction membrane which can be easily installed into existing infrastructures.
Uybach Vo PhD – Faculty of Life Sciences
Eve Blumson PhD – Faculty of Life Sciences
Stanislava Panova PhD – Faculty of Life Sciences
Cat McCallion PhD – School of Pharmacy
Aidan Rooney PhD – School of Materials
See more information on the Venture Further business start-up competition on the Manchester Business School website.
Notes for editors