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London's universities say ‘OpenSME’ to new support for capital's small businesses

A group of London's universities are launching a new collaboration – OpenSME – that seeks to make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access the expertise and knowledge they offer.

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London Entrepreneurs’ Challenge – Phase 1 winners

9 November 2012

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A record number of 41 teams from UCL, London Business School and SOAS entered Phase 1 of the 2012 London Entrepreneur's Challenge.

Teams are halfway through a series of intensive workshops run by Tim Barnes, Director, UCL Advances, aimed to show participants the process of starting a business by helping them do it for themselves.

The teams pitched their ideas to 6 judges, comprised of an external CEO, three UCL staff and 2 former student competition winners. The standard of entries was mixed; some were very well presented and clearly explained, whilst some needed to do more research, particularly to check the market – is there really a problem that they are hoping to solve?

Overall Winner Matopy impressed the judges with their solution to help blind and visually impaired people to browse the web, and with their clearly articulated and confident presentation style.

If you would like to get involved it’s not too late. There are further weekly workshops and you can enter Phase 2!  You can enter the competition here www.londonentrepreneurschallenge.com/enter_now.html

Overall Winner: Matopy

www.matopy.com

Business Concept:
Matopy is a software company. We hope to change the world, by revolutionising the way we interact with the web. We create audio versions of websites, making it possible to listen to and navigate around large amounts of content online. We have an innovative and unique new technology - a fresh approach - which has the potential to disrupt the way we experience audio on the internet.

This has immediate applications for anyone who wants “eyes-free” access to any web content – from blind and visually impaired people, through people with lower literacy levels, to people who want to surf or check emails while away from their desks. It’s time to listen to the web.

Team members:

  • Hywel Carver, UCL PhD in Mathematics & Physics in Life Sciences. Also has an MA and MEng from Cambridge University
  • Sam Jewell, MA and MEng from Cambridge and MIT, and an MA and MSc in Innovation Design Engineering from the Royal College of Art.
Undergrad Runner up: DISEPRA


Business Concept:

Our Business is to produce, implement and market a training course using our own devised curriculum for surgical trainees to learn to perform laparoscopic appendicectomies using virtual reality (VR) simulation.

Team Members:

  • Cameron Nichol, MB BS BSc (hons), Medicine, Medical Sciences w/ Psychology; also Elite Athlete at GB Rowing Team
  • Dr Pasquale Berlingieri: Clinical Research Fellow in Screen-Based Simulation and Obstetrics & Gynaecology, UCL Medicine and Royal Free Hospital.
  • Danny Sinitsky: NHS surgical trainee
Postgrad runner up: SellPlex


Business Concept:

SellPlex is disrupting the eCommerce industry by providing sellers the ability to list on multiple platforms (eBay, Amazon, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, etc) simultaneously and with minimum effort. Sellers will no longer have to waste time uploading items to individual platforms manually. SellPlex automates the entire process and facilitates inventory and inbox management.

Team Members:

  • Ahmad Bakhiet, MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship; current President of the UCL Enterprise Society
  • Kishan Gupta, UCL Alumni