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.
MSc Entrepreneurship graduate wins China-UK Entrepreneurship Challenge
4 December 2012
A graduate of UCL’s Technology Entrepreneurship postgraduate degree has won the final of the China-UK Entrepreneurship Challenge.
Marcin Piatkowski, 24, graduated from the Masters programme this year – during which he developed his idea for Jive Bike, a revolutionary folding electric bike with a battery life sufficient to propel the rider over 33 kilometres.
Beating off competition from five other teams – two other British teams, from the LSE and King’s College London, and three from mainland China – Marcin impressed the judges with his pitch about his business to win a cash prize and the opportunity to visit the country to develop his idea.
The winner is the latest in a line of several competitions for Marcin, since being awarded a UCL Bright Ideas Award at the university’s Awards for Enterprise earlier this year, also winning last year’s London Entrepreneurship Challenge and recently appearing at Start UP Hub 2012 at the Conservative Party conference this Autumn.
The Competition, which aims to encourage new business ventures between China and the UK, is for both student entrepreneurs as well as existing businesses looking at either utilising Chinese expertise or sending a product to the Chinese market. The competition is sponsored by UCL, the University of York, Lancaster University Management School and the China Innovation and Development Organisation.
“The standard of the teams was the strongest we’ve seen in the competition yet,” said UCL Advances Deputy Director Gups Jagpal, one of the panel of six judges. “With standards so high, Marcin was up against exceptionally tough competition – which made it even more satisfying to see a graduate of UCL take home first prize.”
Other members of the panel included Jack Lang, Chair of the Rasberry Pi Foundation, Madeline Sturrock of PanCathay.com, Professor David Brown from Lancaster Business School, Dr Frank Wang, Co-founder and Managing Director of CamLase and Sunny Crouch, one of the governing body of the University of East London, which hosted the final.
“Winning the competition could not have come at a better time,” says Marcin, the founder of Jive Bike. “We are just about to launch a project to win funding through Crowdcube to begin production of our product and it was great to have another vote of confidence in its strength.”