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 great ideas including those targeting sustainability, environment, healthcare and food innovation.
We received a total of 58 video entries from students and recent graduates across the university, pitching their innovative business idea to us in 2 minutes in any format they wished - hoping to become a Venture Competition 2022 Winner. We shortlisted 34 applicants from these videos to go through to stage 2, where each applicant submitted a Business Model Canvas online application.
From stage 2, 10 fantastic finalists were selected to go through to the finals on Wednesday 23 March, where the applicants pitched their ideas to a panel of expert judges, competing to win a share of £10,000.
Meet the judges
- Gurnam Selvarajah - Innovation director at Co-Innovate
- Kay Kukoyi CSM FITOL – Founder of Purposeful Products & software delivery specialist, tech start-up mentor, speaker, lecturer, and the author of 5 books for SMEs and entrepreneurs
- Lauren Bell – Founder of Cosi Care & previous venture competition 2019 winner
- Silvia Pau – Programme manager at Central Research Laboratory
- Simon Poulter – Santander Universities relationships manager
- Emmy Botterman - Entrepreneur Hub Business Consultant
- Mike Herman - Entrepreneur Hub Business Consultant
At each step of the competition, we provided workshops and support including ‘perfect your pitch’ workshops in the lead up to the finals.
After a 15-minute pitch including a question and answer session with the panel, 3 finalists were chosen as the 2022 Venture Competition Winners.
Meet our 2022 winners...
Georgia Williams and Joshua King, founders of Zeal
Winning £4,000, recent Product Design (BSc) graduate Josh and Industrial Design and Technology (BA) graduate Georgia are the founders of Zeal - Zeal Lifestyle is a company revolutionising the assistive product market, launching with their first product, the Zeal Mobility Aid.
Francis Jones, founder of Lab@Home
Francis, a Secondary Education (Science with Chemistry) PGCE Graduate won £3,000 in this year’s Venture Competition with his idea Lab@Home - inspiring GCSE students to improve their science grades by sending them high-quality but affordable boxes of experiments direct to their homes every month.
Jo Holmberg-Hansson, Sahil Datta and Akuha Aondoakaa, founders of PsychoTec
Current PhD Psychology student Jo along with Sahil and Akuha, recent Electronic & Electrical Engineering (PhD) graduates, won £3,000 to help fund their idea PsychoTec, where their mission is to create AI-based digital tools to provide diagnosis and detection of mental illnesses.
Other prizes to note…
Place on CRL Bootcamp programme: Hey Laura, and Zeal
Place on Brunel incubator programme: Gamified Rehab, Headington Trading and PsychoTec
Meet our 10 finalists
Dalia Osman, founder of Flexi-Shape Tape - current Mechanical Engineering (PhD) Student. Flexi-Shape Tape: Using miniature, low-cost optical sensors integrated between 2 layers of flexible material, a shape-sensor tape can measure complex curvatures
- Ezeani Inyama and Tiger Agbajoh, founders of Craze Creative - current Sport (BSc) and Law (LLB) Students. Craze Creative is an intermediary, offering a bespoke service to fashion start-ups to help manufacture sustainable clothing.
- Francis Jones, founder of Lab@Home - Secondary Education (Science with Chemistry) PGCE 2018 Graduate. Lab@Home inspires GCSE students to improve their science grades by sending them high-quality but affordable boxes of experiments direct to their homes every month.
- Georgia Williams and Joshua King, founders of Zeal - Product Design (BSc) 2018 Graduate and Industrial Design and Technology (BA) 2018 Graduate.Zeal Lifestyle is a company revolutionising the assistive product market, launching with their first product, the Zeal Mobility Aid.
- Jo Holmberg-Hansson, Dr Sahil Datta and Dr Akhua Aondoakaa, founders of PsychoTec - current PhD Psychology Student and Electronic & Electrical Engineering (PhD) 2021 Graduate. Creating AI-based digital tools to provide diagnosis and detection of mental illnesses.
- Laurentia Marian, founder of Hey, Laura - current Business and Management with Marketing (BSc) Student. Hey, Laura - pocket size drone connected to smart objects, following you through magnetic field. Brings autonomy in filming, video calls and tech management
- Merlin Headington and Rodrigo Santos, founders of Headington Trading - current Economics and Mathematics (BSc) Student and Computer Science (BSc) Student. Serve as a bespoke purchasing arm, sourcing innovative recycled plastics. Via Partnerships with UK recyclers, they supply direct to manufacturers of plastic.
- Olivia Cowling, founder of PlasticsLab - current Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Design MSc Student. An educational product that converts waste plastic into 3D printer filament, allowing students to engage in direct recycling of plastic.
- Ugo Dinobi, founder of Soober Solar Sub Station - Accountancy and Finance (MSc) 2019 Graduate. A specialized, easy to set up out-house that generates and stores Solar power for miscellaneous use.
- Yilin Tan, founder of Gamified Rehab - current Occupational Therapy (BSc) Student. A web app consisting of various games delivering therapy working on visual, motor or cognitive deficits.