Twenty-two pitches took place online at the Venture Competition on Friday 26th February as part of this year’s Entrepreneurship Week. Finalists competing over eight categories for a share of the £38,000 prize fund. Taking a slightly different format to the usually in-person event. Over 150 attendees signed in to watch the event from 4-6 pm, from all over the globe to support their friends, family and colleagues. Prior to the live event, the finalists delivered their 3-minute pitch to an external judging panel with a 5-minute Q&A before moving onto the next pitch.
Mark Beaumont BEM (former University Rector) and the Entrepreneurial Ambassador for the Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Dundee, opened the event by welcoming finalists and the virtual audience. Then handing over to Brian McNicoll Head of Centre for Entrepreneurship who was the host for the pitches to follow.
Through eight categories we saw staff, students and recent graduates from all schools across the university deliver their one minute pitch. After every two categories, the audience had an option to vote for their favourite pitch. Four iPad's generously donated by Converge and Johnston Carmichael were awarded to the business that the audience deemed gave the most enthusiasm and character to their pitch.
The Venture 2021 winners are as follows:
Student Award - £3,000 sponsored by Aydya and University of Dundee’s School of Business
Peace of Mind - £2,000
Lauryn Pringle from the School of Social Sciences was awarded for her idea of creating a Peace of Mind journal to add to her current Self-Care Online Store business. At a time when mental wellbeing never been more important, the aim is to be a helping hand for helping others with great quality products which will help them and their loved ones.
Athena Beauty - £1,000
Ibitomilayo Komolafe from the School of Business was the runner-up and was awarded £1,000 for her and her team to provide customers with the tools to overcome challenges associated with taking care of their hair.
School of Art and Design Student Award - £2,500 sponsored by University of Dundee’s School of Art and Design
Nozzle - £2,500
Glen Craig from the School of Art and Design was awarded £2,500 for his business ‘Nozzle’ which creates custom-built bike frames specifically for individuals who are taller or smaller and struggle to find the right fit.
Séns - Runner Up winning a place on the Elevator Accelerator Programme
Fátima Cañas Jiménez and her team with their business idea to provide reusable heating pads that will alleviate users from muscular and, more specifically, period pain. It will be portable, practical and small, so users may instantly receive heat with a single click.
School of Life Sciences Student Award - £3,000 sponsored by University of Dundee’s School of Life Sciences
Bless Your Brain - £3,000
Hanneke McLaren and Noelia Pelegrina Hidalgo from School of Life Sciences with Bless Your Brain, a social media platform that translates complex neuroscientific research into comprehensible, educative and entertaining content to bridge the gap between science and the public.
Recent Graduate Award - £3,000 sponsored by Aydya (including £2,000 awarded from the discretionary fund)
J-RAO Contemporary Apothecary - £2,500
Jennifer Rao-Williams Graduate of the School of Social Sciences with her aim to create the world’s first circular designed shaving system.
Talonmore Drinks Company Limited - £2,500
Lewis Kennedy Graduate of the School of Art and Design with the inaugural drink, Talonmore a non-alcoholic spirit, the first in Scotland to be crated through brewing rooted and plant-based ingredients rather than distilling.
Postgraduate Researcher Award - £2,500 sponsored by University of Dundee’s Doctoral Academy
Exscite - £2,500
Jordana Freemantle and Michaela Omelkova of the School of Life Sciences with their business ‘ExScite’ that will provide a range of stimulating materials and interactive products grounded in health and science to advocate for positive behavioural change.
School of Science and Engineering Student Award (Current students) - £3,000 sponsored by University of Dundee's School of Science and Engineering and Engineers in Business Fellowship
Smart Crop - £3,000
Antonio Rodriguez from the School of Science and Engineering was awarded £3,000 for Smart Crop a practical approach for crop monitoring using machine learning and data science by turning images into valuable information through computer vision and dimensional data models to develop a strawberry development monitoring system.
School of Medicine Award - £3,000 sponsored by University of Dundee’s School of Medicine
Xaiver Bioxnix - Cyclops - £2,500
Firas Bakri from the School of Medicine and his team at Xavier Bionix with ‘Cyclops’ a software application that automatically converts imaging modalities to produce 3D models that are used in Mixed Reality (Augmented and Virtual Reality) applications to assist Orthopaedic Surgeons, Doctors, medical students, Medical Professionals and patients in collaborative pre-operative planning.
Bridging the Gap Academy - £1,500
Abigail Johnston (Student) and Mostafa Khalil (Staff) from the School of Medicine with their business idea Bridging the Gap Academy, an idea that proposes to develop pre-recorded courses in Medicine aimed at undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Staff Award - £11,000 sponsored by University of Dundee’s Research and Innovation Services (RIS), Organisational Professional Development (OPD), School of Science and Engineering (including £3,000 awarded from the discretionary fund and an extra £2,000 from School of Science and Engineering category)
Glen Clova Scientific - £6,500
John Foerster Staff at the School of Medicine has devised a novel technology that simplifies VLP (Virus-like particles) manufacture and has the potential to catalyse the development of medical treatments which can be made available at a fraction of the cost of Biologics drugs, thereby significantly lowering drug costs for health care providers and patients.
RhaPSeda - £6,500
Helge Dormueller Staff at the School of Medicine with his business idea that they have established an innovative GAS vaccine production platform that has the potential to revolutionise the production of affordable GAS vaccines globally.
ENerveC (EnerMerch) – £2,000
Shahin Homaeigohar Staff at the School of Science and Engineering with his novel biodegradable, electroactive conduit that can accelerate nerve regeneration and provide a suitable platform for nerve cells to grow and reconnect. The electroactivity of the material enables them to communicate and thereby brings back the sensing ability to the disabled (paralyzed) tissues.
Discretionary Fund of £5,000 sponsored by Elevator and DC Thomson which was decided by the judges.
Thank you again to all of our sponsors, the event wouldn't be possible without them. This year was overwhelming with the highest prize fund we have had to date of £38,000.
Check out the brochure from Venture 2021 Final here - Venture Brochure 2021.