Last night, as part of our Bright Ideas Competition awards for students and recent graduates, we held our first panel discussion – ‘How to Win at Business Competitions’.
More than 50 entrepreneurially minded students and graduates from the University joined us to hear views and advice from LAUNCH.ed clients and business adviser Liza Sutherland.
The panel featured:
- Alison Wood, founder of social enterprise Lilypads, which provides affordable and sustainable sanitary products to girls and women in Kenya, as well as education and support to tackle the taboo surrounding menstrual health education.
- Denny Schenk, founder of Retromixer, whose product brings together the hot and cold taps of wash basins.
- Lorenzo Conti, last year’s winner of the Business Ideas Competition and founder of Crover, aiming to reduce grain waste by monitoring conditions inside grain stores.
LAUNCH.ed intern and current student Jack McMillan led the panel discussion and, with Lorenzo, presented the winners of this year’s Business Ideas Competition.
For the first time, Sainsbury Management Fellows, an MBA scholarship scheme for engineers, provided sponsorship for a separate category of the competition for students and recent graduates from the School of Engineering.
From left: Alison Wood, Liza Sutherland, Denny Schenk, Lorenzo Conti and Jack McMillan
First place winners recieve £500, second place £300 and third place £200.
Business Ideas Competition
- First place: Wang Yau LI with Speakeasy. Yau Li, who is studying for an MSc in Speech and Language Processing, aims to develop a speech analysis and feedback app to allow people undertaking speech therapy to improve their independent practice between therapy sessions.
- Second place: Karol Stanski for his system to identify and count plants and animals using drone imagery. Fifth-year Informatics undergraduate Karol has developed a prototype while working on a dissertation project with the School of Geosciences.
- Third place: Alexander Adam Laurence with his idea of using AI in developing countries to assess malnutrition in children.
Business Ideas Competition – engineering
- First place: George Dzavaryan, Mortiz Muller, Iman Mouloudi and Will Sautra with Augment Bionics, which designs and manufactures affordable bionic arms for use by amputees and people born without upper limbs. The team wants to drastically reduce the cost of functional prosthetics and are targeting an NHS partnership.
- Second place: Artur Chee and Dilyana Karavasileva with their automated strawberry-harvesting arm. Their design aims to be more efficient and less bulky than existing designs, achieved with more degrees of freedom and an internal conveyor belt system.
- Third place: Dileep Dasari with Dassun, a simple vortex-generating system which can potentially decrease fuel consumption of turbofan engines by 10%.
From left: Dileep Dasari, Artur Chee, Karol Stanski and Will Saputra.