Entrepreneurs share £75,000 prize money at Venture Further Awards

After a two-year hiatus, the Venture Further Awards were held live in the Whitworth Hall on Wednesday 4 May. Streamed live, the winners of the 2022 Venture Further start-up competition were announced to the world, celebrating the entrepreneurial talent and creativity from students and recent graduates across The University of Manchester.   

The evening kicked off with a video celebrating the last 19 years of Venture Further and the success of the entrepreneurs who commenced their journeys with the competition. Those in the audience heard from the very first competition winner, Wai Lau who won in 2003 with Information Prophets. The video also featured other successful start-ups such as Mishipay and Bundlee, alongside a variety of entrepreneurs who have gone to secure millions in investment, giving the night’s awardees an exciting future to look forward to.   

Hosted by registrar, secretary and COO of The University of Manchester, Patrick Hackett, this uplifting evening saw 15 teams of entrepreneurs receive a share of a £75,000 cash prize fund to help take their start-ups to the next level. Patrick commented: “The Venture Further Awards are a very visible manifestation of our University’s deep and abiding commitment – some would say it’s in our DNA and contributes to what makes us truly distinctive – to innovation through enterprise and entrepreneurship.”   

Joined by previous Venture Further winner Mohammad El Hajj Founder and CEO of Bright Biotech, the evening was a celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship at The University of Manchester.

Lynn Sheppard, Director of the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre commented: “The annual Venture Further competition is an opportunity for our students and early stage graduates to pitch their start-up ideas and win a significant cash injection to help realise their business goals.” 

25 teams reached the final round, across five categories – Environmental, Healthcare, Services, Social and Technology – five teams competed for the top cash prize of £10,000. Second place winners were awarded £3,000 and third place £2,000.

This year’s winners are:

Environmental Category

Urban Panel: Steve Philip, MEng. Civil and Structural Engineering, School of Engineering

A building material manufacturer and building contractor who are seeking to streamline the construction industry.

Healthcare Category

Organoid Solutions Ltd.: Chrisoula Chappell, Ph.D. Materials, School of Natural Sciences and Dominic Williams, Ph.D. Materials, School of Natural Sciences

A biotech start-up rebuilding fat tissue by utilising an artificial blood capillary network, for women that have undergone complete mastectomies due to invasive breast cancer.

Services Category

Manchester Students’ Group: Farris Ramzy, LLM Healthcare Ethics and Law, School of Social Sciences (Alumni Class of 2019)

An online platform enabling instant communication and sharing with the student community, providing a tool for them to find themselves by finding the right things to do and the right people to do them with.

Social Category

Alternative Football: Bethany Barnes, Ph.D. Cellular Biology, School of Biological Sciences

Providing the first inclusive, adult women’s and non-binary football league in the North of England, creating an atmosphere that each individual is comfortable with, regardless of skill, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or financial background.

Technology Category

Praeferre Ltd.: Abhishek Ghosh, MBA, Alliance Manchester Business School (Alumni Class of 2019)

Praeferre is strengthening privacy management with blockchain. The Praeferre SaaS platform provides individuals with a single point of control for data privacy and customer rewards across all their digital touch points.

Organiser of the Venture Further Competition and Enterprise Business Development Executive at the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre, Ellie Buckley, said: “It’s been wonderful to celebrate our finalists in person. The standard and quality of business proposals submitted were impeccable.  

As we saw in the celebration video, Venture Further is a springboard for success, giving student and graduate founders that vital support required to start their business. We look forward to supporting all the winners in furthering their start-ups and making them a success.  

This is just the beginning for our finalists. There are exciting things to come, so watch this space.”


Venture Further Awards 2022

Venture Further 2022 was supported by:

IBM and Slalom.

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