UCL has been hailed as a “shining example” for supporting student entrepreneurs by the Guardian in an article about whether universities are doing enough to help students start new businesses.
UCL graduate shortlisted for MITIE Millions
1 June 2012
A UCL graduate has reached the final of MITIE Millions, a pitching event which saw budding entrepreneurs competing for a share of £5 million in investment.
The event – launched this year by MITIE, an energy and outsourcing group – gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch to a panel of judges, Dragon’s Den style, for a share of £5 million in business development – a welcome injection for any business.
Ricky Kotecha, a recent graduate of UCL, was one of the participants, and on the strength of his business plans was shortlisted to the final five. He pitched his business Frame Medical, which offers patients who have recently been diagnosed with Type II diabetes a programme of education and monitoring to control their condition.
The programme – which involves adopting activities, behaviours and attitudes which can lead to better health and wellbeing, whilst also reducing the secondary complications of diabetes – was pitched as an innovative way to save the NHS some of the £10 billion annual cost of treating the disease.
Ricky, 24, co-founded Frame Medical while completing a Master’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health at UCL. He was by far the youngest competitor in the event – yet came with a strong record of business development with Primary Care trusts. “Ricky’s enthusiasm has meant that his business has gone from strength to strength since he first came to UCL Advances for advice in November 2010,” says Lillian Shapiro, one of two student business advisors at UCL. “Most of the entrants into MITIE Millions were far more experienced business people – so it is a major achievement to reach the finals.”
Aside from intensive one on one support from Lillian on how best to develop his business, Ricky also won a UCL Bright Ideas Award, providing vital initial funding for his business in the form of low-cost loans, as well as a Camden Innovation Central Bursary. “While Ricky didn’t get the funding he sought this time, I’ve no doubt that Frame Medical has a bright future,” says Lillian. “They are definitely one to watch.”