The UK’s most entrepreneurial students have been named today, as the finalists of the eighth annual Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards are revealed.
Each of the finalists now has the chance to receive up to £25,000 worth of seed funding.
The awards are aimed at students and recent graduates and recognise the most forward-thinking ideas.
Matt Hutnell, director of Santander Universities UK commented: “We have a long-term commitment to supporting higher education and we are proud to take an active role in fostering entrepreneurship among university students. They are the business leaders of the future and universities play an important role in nurturing this talent in our local communities. We are delighted to announce the 12 finalists and look forward to judging this year’s most innovative, creative and truly entrepreneurial talent at the final in November.”
Since the awards were launched, Santander Universities has given away more than £340,000 in support for budding student entrepreneurs, and given universities the chance to showcase entrepreneurial talent from across the UK.
Twelve teams have been named as the finalists of the competition:
Non-Technology Category Winners
Azure Foods, University of Oxford
Chip (s) Board, Kingston University
Citylife UK, University of Nottingham
Ezi-Sock, Ulster University
Fodilicious, Queen Margaret University
Smibbs, Plymouth University
Technology Category Winners
Machine Eye, Queens University Belfast
POCKIT Diagnostics, University of Cambridge
Silver Lion Innovations, University of Strathclyde
Supernotes, Kings College London
Wase, Brunel University London
Work and Communications, Nottingham Trent University
The 12 businesses were selected from a shortlist of 60 semi-finalists to progress to the final stage, having pitched their business idea to a panel of experienced judges in one of the three regional heats.
The successful businesses have been invited to attend an accelerator week in August 2018, which will provide them with a unique educational experience led by a series of innovative businesses and speakers. During that week, the finalists will take part in a series of workshops and masterclasses aimed at helping them understand how to get the most from their business. Each of the businesses have also received £500 of seed funding at the semi-final.
The 12 shortlisted teams will then take part in the National Final in London, in November 2018. The students will be competing to be one of two winning entries to win prizes of up to £25,000 of seed funding. The two runners up will receive £15,000 of seed funding.
Research conducted by Santander Universities found that 26% of students currently run or plan to run a business whilst they are at university. Amongst those up and coming student entrepreneurs who have already launched a business, the average turnover is £11,408 per annum, equivalent to a collective £1bn.
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