UCL’s entrepreneurs are pitch-perfect in prestigious national competition
15 April 2011
Regarded by the World Economic Forum
as a global ‘best practice’ in enterprise promotion, NACUE - National
Consortium of University Entrepreneurs - is a name you want to add to your CV
if you’re aiming for a career as an entrepreneur.
Now that the NACUE National Varsity Pitch Competition 2011 semi-finals have taken place and the finalists have been chosen, five UCL individuals or teams can do just that – two as finalists.
The two will go head-to-head with five other startups at the Grand Final on 10th May, pitching for the £10,000 cash prize and the title of the National Champion. They are Circalit in the Creative Enterprise category and Charity Checkout in the Social Entrepreneurship category.
Circalit (www.circalit.com) is an online platform which gives film producers, publishers and agents access to the best screenplays, novels and plays from all over the world. Circalit has pioneered a core innovation known as Tracktivity Technology, which reliably finds projects likely to have mass appeal. It was founded by Raoul Tawadey (BSc Natural Sciences alumnus) and Robert Tucker (PhD English Literature), and has already won a UCL Advances Bright Ideas Award.
Raoul says: “It’s great to be getting some validation for the idea of Circalit, and I think it’s a sign that we’re on the right track. Allegedly, we’re going to get the opportunity to pitch on Dragons’ Den, too! We’re extremely thankful to UCL Advances for bringing this competition to our attention.”
Charity Checkout is an innovative charity payment provider that enables charities to set up custom payment pages, empowering them to run effective online fundraising campaigns, and is specifically tailored for the needs of smaller charities. The idea was conceived by Chester Mojay-Sinclare (BA Philosophy), whose charity search engine and comparison website AliveandGiving.com (www.aliveandgiving.com) won the e-Challenge and a Bright Ideas award two years ago.
Chester says: “We’re really looking forward to the grand final in May and getting up in front of the audience to show them what we’ve been working on. The National Varsity Pitch Competition is a great initiative and everyone at Charity Checkout is keen to be a part of it.”
The three other UCL teams that made it to the semi-finals are:
FRAME Medical (www.framemedical.org) in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths category is a social enterprise dedicated to providing the best possible care for diabetes patients by offering diabetes education and management programmes. The brainchild of Ricky Kotecha (MSc Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health) and Ali Atta-Ul (MSc in Clinical/Experimental Medicine), the start-up has already won a Bright Ideas award, a Camden Innovation Central grant and a Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas award.
Tipgain in the Software, Internet and Mobile Technologies category is an innovative offline-to-online service that helps retailers extend merchandising to their potential customers through social networks and mobile advertising. It was the overall winner of the e-Challenge competition last year, and the team behind its success comprises James Close, Gustavo Gorenstein, Chao-Sheng Hung, Nicolas Nguyen Van Ho and Martin Poschenreider (all MSc Technology Entrepreneurship).
Brink in the Software, Internet and Mobile Technologies category provides a technology based solution that improves the tracking, analysis and security capabilities of government defence and public service providers by enabling administrators to easily identify the number of active mobile phones or devices within the system’s vicinity. Founded by first-year student William Hines (BSc Computer Science), Brink recently won a Bright Ideas Award.
Lillian Shapiro, Student Business Advisor at UCL Advances,
says: “Within two short years NACUE has become a central point of contact for
the UK’s most promising and enterprising graduates. We’re delighted that UCL is
represented in four out of seven categories in its prestigious National Varsity
Pitch Competition – twice in one category and as winners in two others. It is
recognition of the leading role the university plays in nurturing student
talent and in supporting some of the most exciting early-stage start-ups in the