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London Entrepreneurs’ Challenge 2013: Survival of the Fittest

19 December 2013

London’s best young entrepreneurs clinched victory yesterday in the prestigious 2013 London Entrepreneurs’ Challenge. Standing out among a strong field of innovators were five teams that represent the best of entrepreneurship across UCL, SOAS, the Royal Veterinary College, Birkbeck, the School of Pharmacy and the London Business School. Awarded £15,000 of prize money between them, the winners will receive their prizes at the annual UCL Awards for Enterprise on 29 May 2014.

London Entrepreneurs' Challenge

Now in its twelfth year, the London Entrepreneurs’ Challenge is a chance for enthusiastic young entrepreneurs to get some great experience under their belts. It consists of intensive workshops from October to December, culminating in pitching business ideas to a panel of UCL staff, former winners and external experts in mid-December.

The Challenge Winner, with an award of £5,000, is forward-thinking biotech company Darwin Toolbox. Their creation is ingenious – an affordable, safe and portable synthetic biology laboratory that makes synthetic biology technology accessible to innovators. Its aim is to increase the reach of synthetic biology to make it more available in educational settings and citizen science, in the same way that the maker community has contributed to the home computer revolution.

The Undergraduate Runner-Up, receiving an award of £3,000, is FooGuru, a mobile application that provides a social platform for football predictions. The app lets users share their predictions about football match results, and compete against their friends, colleagues or even on a national basis, to see who is the best predictor over time.

The Postgraduate Runner-up prize, also £3,000, goes to Archifi – a web platform and mobile app that allows architects and other building professionals to document specific elements and overall progress on-site through an effective, easy photo and archive organizing system. It helps them organize them into a coherent and logical archive, and share them with colleagues in a single step.

The Provost’s Prize of £2,000, which recognizes the best proposal from a team with members from multiple participating institutions, goes to Eat & Greet. A social enterprise that aims to tackle the problem of social isolation in care homes, Eat & Greet brings care home residents together with groups of visitors over a weekly lunch in the care home. Eat & Greet provides the visitors and the home provides an affordable lunch.

The Social Enterprise Award of £2,000 goes to artFix, a team that are putting high art in the high street. artFix are creating permanent artFix stores in everyday places around London, in select high-footfall locations, high streets and shopping centres to deliver, under one unified brand, artistic content that originates from major cultural organisations and community artists.

The London Entrepreneurs Challenge is run by UCL Advances, UCL's Centre for entrepreneurship and business interaction. UCL Advances helps anyone who wants to learn about, start or grow a business by offering training, services and funding for staff, students and external entrepreneurs. Taking students through their entrepreneurial journey, UCL Advances encourages and enables new enterprises to get going with confidence.

Winners in full:

Darwin Toolbox

Philipp Boeing: UCL MEng Computer Science 2014
Bethan Wolfenden: UCL BSc Biochemistry 2014
Oliver Coles – UCL PhD Instrumentation, MPhil Physics 2015
Tom Catling  UCL PhD Instrumentation, MPhil Astrophysics 2016
Desmond Schofield – UCL EngD Biochemical Engineering 2015

FooGuru

Danny Hakimian: UCL BA Economics & Business 2014

Archifi

Iulia Fratila: UCL March Urban Design 2013
Odysseas Diakakis: UCL March Urban Design 2013
Stefanie Sebald: UCL March Urban Design 2013
Youngjoon Chung - UCL Bartlett, London, Master of Architecture 2013
Katarzyna Bendowska - UCL Bartlett, London, Master of Architecture 2014
Andri Costin - West University of Timisoara, Romania, Bachelor of Computer Science for Economics, Graduated 2005

Eat & Greet

Sarah Anne Bedford: SOAS, Graduate Diploma in Economics
Lynn Kremer: UCL, MA Comparative Literature 2014  

Artfix

George Neris: UCL MPhil, Centre for Sustainable Heritage 2017

Links

Previous winners:

For media enquiries, contact Henry Rummins, Media Relations Manager (Enterprise): h.rummins@ucl.ac.uk