Venture 2023 showcases University's emerging business ideas

Published on 21 March 2023

The Venture 2023 New Business Ideas Final brought together candidates that are all on their first steps of bringing their hard work and ideas into a reality.

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We saw a diverse pool of ideas, from helping others in local communities to potentially game-changing ventures. Finalists were competing over 8 different award categories, sharing a record amount of £68,000 across the different categories. The finalists were judged on their written business proposal and the 3-minute pitch they delivered to an expert external judging panel with a 5-minute Q&A afterwards.

Professor Iain Gillespie, the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, opened the event by welcoming the attending audience, partaking finalists, and the sponsors of the event to the night. Iain then passed over to Brian McNicoll, Head for Entrepreneurship, who was the host for night, as our finalists showcased their businesses to the audience by delivering a one-minute pitch.

Each finalist faced questions from the live audience who were then able to voice their opinion and vote for 4 different audience winners. The winners of the audience award categories were each awarded an iPad that had been generously donated by Converge and Johnston Carmichael.

The event came to an end with the awards ceremony, which announced the runners-up and winners of the awards each of whom was presented their trophy by Professor Iain Gillespie. Once the Final had come to an end it then went on to a reception after which the audience and contestants were able to celebrate their achievements.

The Venture Competition will positively impact all candidates who took part, the feedback they all received from the expert judging panel will allow them to further refine their ideas into actuality and allow them the ability to network with like-minded people and learn more about entrepreneurship. If you want to hear more about any of our winners or believe you could help their idea develop, please get in touch.

“It was a very interesting experience because there are a lot of emotions that are going on. They start at the beginning of the day with all the adrenaline and, as it gets closer to the time, the nerves kick in. But then there’s some kind of relief: you are in there and you know what you are talking about and, when you are in that moment, even though you were panicking before, it’s an amazing experience to just know that you did it. It’s a great hype and I would recommend it to anyone.”

Daniella Levins, winner of the Art & Design Award with R!G

The Venture 2023 winners are as follows:

Science and Engineering Award - £5000

WINNER: Lydia Konduah with Phlow

“As most sanitary pads are made of 90% plastic and non-biodegradable materials that cause environmental pollution and drainage blockages when flushed, this business is to produce eco-friendly flushable sanitary pads made completely of cellulose”

RUNNER-UP: Stefan Olsson with Rehabi-Ware (awarded £2,500)

“A muscle activation sensor developed as a controller for a multiplayer video game primarily for the rehabilitation of the upper arm for those with inhibited arm motion”

Wildcard Award - £5,000 (£2,500 from discretionary fund)

WINNER: Keith Wilcox with Rescue Winch Ltd

“Water rescue methods have not changed much since 1960: tug of war, or pulley systems are used to free trapped people or equipment. Our winch will provide a single component tool so one person can quickly apply the force that currently takes up to 10”

Business Award- £3,500 (£1,000 from the discretionary fund)

WINNER: Evelina Buzaite with SignSpeech

“The SignSpeech application will use the newest speech recognition technology to convert spoken language into sign language in real-time. It will also apply machine learning algorithms to convert camera-detected SL into spoken and written language”

RUNNER-UP: Priyanka Joshi with Sanity Daily (awarded £1,000)

“A mental health blog with 14,000 monthly readers across 120 countries. Priyanka wants to establish a business using this resource as a learning point for individuals who want to work on themselves.”

Postgraduate Researcher Award £2,500

WINNER: Dr Lee Cheatley with Wholebeing Purpose

“Bereavement support to process your feelings and experiences through a co-creative pursuit. Users can express themselves from the safety of their own homes to create artwork that encourages self-reflection and discussion”

Art & Design £2,500

WINNER: Daniella Levins with R!G

“R!G is a mast-mounted emergency kit designed for sailing boats. Rig's purpose is immediate accessibility to first aid in critical on-water conditions. The product-service concept is to offer improvement of current safety practices”

Life Science Award £3,000

WINNER: Ricardo Moreno Ballesteros with GenProTex

“B2B company offering a service for protein validation. The platform would help prove if generating a drug for a specific protein would benefit treating a disease. It’s a service for accelerating drug discovery projects”

School of Medicine - £2,500

JOINT WINNERS: Haseeb Hamid with World of Medics and Tina Huang with AreWeOK

“World of Medics is an online educational platform which gamifies learning about the human body. Users progress through their learning by earning points and badges, progressing through levels, levelling up and moving up the leaderboard”

“AreWeOk is an exciting business idea to develop a journal for healthcare professionals. Using the latest research on well-being, this journal incorporates daily questions, affirmations and ideas specifically for health professionals”

Research Staff – £10,000

WINNER: Anirban Guha with Guha Renewables

“Guha renewables has designed a renewable energy generation system that delivers large power-densities on a small footprint. The system will create new opportunities for communities and developers to meet energy need at a fraction of the cost”

RUNNER-UP: Dr Elad Katz with Navigate Precision Biology (awarded £5,500)

“Navigate Precision Biology will provide services to the pharmaceutical industry, focused on better models of human disease than those already in use. Our services will be used to discover and develop better medicines in cancer and kidney diseases”

McGhee Award - £25,000

WINNER: Ricardo Moreno Ballesteros with GenProTex

“B2B company offering a service for protein validation. The platform would help prove if generating a drug for a specific protein would benefit treating a disease. It’s a service for accelerating drug discovery projects”

WINNER: Stephanie Graham with Natla Jewellery Studio & Dundee Community Craft CIC

“Dundee Community Craft is on a social mission to make Dundee the Recovery Capital of Europe by providing Collective Healing through Craft.”


Story category Awards and accolades