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Venture Competition 2021

The Venture Competition is an opportunity for students and alumni to develop their entrepreneurial skills and ideas with a chance to win up to £10,000 of start-up funding, generously supported by Santander Universities and the Brunel Development Fund.

Each year we look for outstanding budding entrepreneurs to come forward with bright ideas, from commercial or social issues to those that explore gaps in the market. For this year’s competition, we received a wide range of ideas including those targeting sustainability, environment, healthcare, food innovation.

This year we introduced a new stage 1 process, where applicants had to submit a video entry – pitching their business idea to us in 2 minutes in any format they wished. We received the highest ever amount of applications, with over 100 video entries from students and recent graduates across the university - all applying with their innovative business ideas hoping to become a Venture Competition 2021 Winner.

We shortlisted 30 applicants from these videos to go through to stage 2, where each applicant submitted a Business Model Canvas online application. From stage 2, 11 fantastic finalists were selected to go through to the finals on Wednesday 24 March, where the applicants pitched their ideas to a panel of expert judges, competing to win a share of £10,000. For the first time, we also opened the competition to the public to select a People’s Choice. We received over 1300 votes across all the candidates! 

At each step of the competition, we provided workshops and support including ‘perfect your pitch’ workshops in the lead up to the finals.

Finals  to use!!

Meet the judges

  • Emmy Botterman - Entrepreneur Hub Business Consultant
  • Mike Herman - Entrepreneur Hub Business Consultant
  • Minal Patel - Founder of Marketing by Minal
  • Gurnam Selvarajah - Innovation director at Co-Innovate
  • Christopher Thorneycroft-Smith - Brunel University London ambassador for Employability and Innovation & Non-Executive Director of Gasrec
  • Toby Kress - Managing Director at CRL & Programme Director at PlusX

After a 15-minute pitch including a question and answer session with the panel, 3 finalists were chosen as the 2021 Venture Competition Winners alongside the People’s Choice winner.

Meet our 2021 winners...

Joanna Power and Paramveer Bhachu, founders of Lava

Winning £5000, current Product Design Engineering BSc students Joanna and Paramveer founded Lava last year. Lava has designed a portable washing machine featuring a removable water tank, which collects used shower water that is then filtered and used in the laundry process. They are targeting students and their accommodations. If their product were used by every student in London, we could save over 1.7 billion litres of water a year! 

Click here to view Lava's entry video.

Francis Jones, founder of Heracle

Francis, a Secondary Education (Science with Chemistry) PGCE Graduate won £2000 in this year’s Venture Competition with his idea. Heracle is a software that allows schools to determine what paid provisions have the maximum positive impact on students and cut out any ineffective expenditures. 

Click here to view Heracle's entry video.

Chad Derya, founder of Agile Import

Winning £2000, recent Computer Science (BSc) Graduate Chad is tackling an idea that enables UK traders to manage their customs declarations by providing a tailor-made SaaS solution, enabling cost and time consolidation – something that’s crucial in helping Small to Medium businesses within the industry to survive post Brexit.

Click here to view Agile import's entry video. 

Simone Panella, founder of Dyamotech Headgear

First year Business and Management (Entrepreneurship and Innovation) BSc student Simone, has uncovered a huge gap in the market and is working on a new concept of rugby head protective gear with high performant materials and intelligent design to improve the athletes experience whilst playing the sport, whilst ensuring optimal comfort and safety. Simone received the highest number of votes in our ‘People’s Choice Awards’ winning £1000 to take his idea further.