UCL Innovation and Enterprise


UCL student triumphs at Entrepreneurs Festival

15 October 2013

A graduate from UCL has won an award at the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) Entrepreneurs’ Festival in Manchester for her social enterprise.

Carlotta Rinaldi – who studied the MSc Industrial/Organizational and Business Psychology programme at UCL and is from Italy – was part of the ‘FootyforFood’ team, which boasted participants from seven countries and five continents. 

Carlotta Rinaldi

FootyforFood is a social enterprise aspiring to use sport as a way to turn a national passion into community action, by raising the amount of food for food banks across the world. The team’s impressive skills secured them the Social Entrepreneurship Pitch prize, which includes desk space at The Bakery, a business accelerator in East London, to help them develop their own ideas.

The international enterprise competition was held to mark the launch UKTI’s Sirius Programme, a pioneering scheme which aims to bring the world’s best entrepreneurial talent to the UK.

The 12-month start-up support and acceleration package is open to students and recent graduates with an early-stage business idea or business plan. Successful applicants receive a full range of support including investment, a place in one of the world’s best business accelerator programmes, mentoring and logistical help with relocating to the UK.

“Winning this award has given us all great confidence in our entrepreneurial ability,” said Carlotta, after winning the award. “Not only was this competition a great opportunity to work as a team with people from all over the world, it allowed us to each develop our business acumen too. We can’t wait to apply for The Sirius Programme with the hope of being one step closer to transforming our business ideas into a reality within the UK”.

“This is excellent news for Carlotta and a real vote of confidence in the preparation study at UCL provides for launching a business,” said Timothy Barnes, Director of UCL Advances, the university’s centre for entrepreneurship. “As someone on the advisory board for the Sirius programme, I can say that those who’ve won awards are getting an outstanding package of support unrivalled internationally.

“With the business environment in the UK becoming better and better for entrepreneurs, there is no better time for anyone to consider setting up their own business.”