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Award for UCL start-up that helps take the pain out of applying to medical school

14 July 2011

Santander Awards of Entrepreneurship

A UCL student business that could help medical school hopefuls gain a place on their course of choice has been recognised in the inaugural Santander Awards of Entrepreneurship.

One 2 One Medicine, founded by fifth-year medical student Grant Milne, won third prize and £1,000 cash in the undergraduate category, despite stiff competition from representatives of 45 other Santander-partnered universities across the UK.

The awards were given out by Santander UK CEO Ana Botín at a gala dinner at the Spanish Embassy in London on 5th July.

To qualify for the award Grant had to develop a detailed proposal which included not only information on the proposed target market, financial forecasts and idea viability, but also personal motivations and objectives. 

Grant Milne founder of One 2 One Medicine receiving award

Grant, who completed three years of pre-clinical studies at Cambridge University before transferring to UCL for clinical training, developed the idea for One 2 One after tutoring A-level students in biology and chemistry.

He says: “Everyone wanted to study medicine. Yet of the thousands of school students who apply to British medical schools every year, only one in five gains a place at their first choice. The application process is complex – every medical school has its own interview style and desired credentials. Many applicants need help, and I knew they would greatly benefit from university-specific advice from someone who has successfully gone through the process.”

One 2 One provides medical school applicants with a list of around 100 approved tutors, from which they can choose someone to meet face-to-face or talk to via Skype. One 2 One earns a small percentage of the tuition fee.

The start-up has also developed two apps and is working on launching four more by autumn, including a complete learning package for obstetrics and gynaecology students

Grant is also looking at a possible tie-up with TalkScope, an American company offering online, one-to-one conversational English taught by qualified teachers, which will see One 2 One go global.

The start-up will use the £1,000 prize money to market itself further via Facebook and the UCAS website The Student Room.

The Santander accolade is not the first that Grant, who also holds a BSc in Management from the Judge Business School at Cambridge University, has received. The company won the London Entrepreneurs’ Challenge 2010 undergraduate award and a Camden Innovation Central bursary earlier this year. Grant also took the Filliter, Kingston Fowler & Tuke 1st Prize in Pathology at UCL in 2010.

Lillian Shapiro, Student Business Advisor at UCL Advances, says: “As a business model, One 2 One was always going to be successful, for a number of reasons: it fulfills a market need that is not adequately addressed by any competitors; it is largely risk free, as in each of the business areas One 2 One gets paid before having to pay its suppliers; and the growth plan is well defined and feasible.

“But more than that, Grant’s passion for helping aspiring medics, his professionalism and personal credibility really impressed the judges on the night.”

Since 2007 Santander has supported higher education in the UK by funding outstanding students and projects, helping entrepreneurs, and giving students the opportunity to travel abroad to continue their studies. Globally, the bank is linked to 900 universities in 14 countries, primarily in South America.