Press release

Scotland’s new wave of entrepreneurs unveiled

Published on 26 February 2024

Some of Scotland’s brightest business prospects are preparing for an exciting future after being crowned winners of a major Scottish competition.

On this page

Eighteen concepts have received significant cash prizes following the results of the University of Dundee’s annual Venture competition. 

Businesses developed by University students, graduates and staff have received awards ranging from £1,000 to £12,500 from this year’s record £78,500 prize fund to help their novel ideas flourish into thriving enterprises. In addition to the financial support, all winners will receive a place on Elevator’s summer business accelerator programme. 

The Venture final marked the culmination of the University’s annual Entrepreneurship Week, a series of workshops and lectures championing opportunities for small enterprise in Scotland. 

Among the fledgling business ideas to succeed were Cognicall, an automated phone-based cognitive health monitoring service, and AQusTx, a software tool for AI-driven drug design. Both have received £12,500 having been named winners of the McGhee Award, donated by the CEO of Current Health and former University student Christopher McGhee and his partner, Jo-Ann.  

Other winners included Bio-Wool, a no waste and biodegradable material made from British wool, and Leximos, an adaptive language learning platform. 

Dr David McBeth, Vice-Principal (Enterprise and Economic Transformation), said, “This year’s Venture competition has once again demonstrated the dynamic and enterprising spirit that is prevalent throughout our University community. 

“All of our entries displayed enormous potential, and I have no doubt that all have the capability to be successful enterprises in the future. 

“The Venture competition once again served as a tremendous finale to our annual Entrepreneurship Week, organised by the University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship, and I wish all of our winners well on their business journeys.” 

The full list of Venture 2024 winners is as follows: 

Business Award 


£5,000 - Jukebox - Issac Jarman, Matthew Gibson-Smith and Samuel Cole 


Post-graduate Researcher Award 


£3,000 - Cognimusica - Justnya Skop (School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law) 


Life Science Award 

£3,000 - Tom Barton - Placementt  


Wildcard Award 

£1,000 - Mary Byford (School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law) - Stories for Cycling 

£1,000 - Nyasha Mutembwa – (President of DUSA) - Your Choice Yearbooks

£1,000 - Priya Chadha – (School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law) - Skills Bridge UK  


Medicine Award 

£3,250 Pocket Patient - Ahmed Sharaf and Hana Woods  

£3,000 Cognicall - Lynden Nicely  


Science and Engineering Award 


£3,000 - John Bradley and Steven Brison - JBSB Studios  

Runner up:  

£2,000 - Syed Murad - Leximos  


Art and Design Award 


£3,750 - Tom Stewart - Bio-Wool 


£2,000 - Karen-Ann Dicken - Highland School of Jewellery  

£2,000 - Nathan Dudley - New Found Hope  


Staff Award 


£12,500 - AQusTx - Peter Ibrahim and Mike Bodkin (School of Life Sciences) 


£5,500 - Tooth4Life - Mohammad Islam (School of Dentistry) 


Ruby Foundation 

£2,500 - Neurona Haven - Rabinoor Khurana (School of Life Sciences) 


McGhee Award Winners 

£12,500 - Cognicall - Lynden Nicely (School of Medicine) 

£12, 500 - AQusTx Peter Ibrahim and Mike Bodkin (School of Life Sciences Staff) 


Jonathan Watson

Senior Press Officer

+44 (0)1382 381489