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UCL Announces Fifth Annual Enterprise Awards

18 May 2012

The Old Bond team in action

UCL has announced its Awards for Enterprise to recognize the achievements of students, graduates and academic staff to furthering enterprise and entrepreneurship on campus. In their fifth year, the Awards celebrate the exciting new business ideas of student and graduate entrepreneurs – ranging from HelpYouApply, to streamline the process for students applying to summer internships, to Old Bond, offering animated ads on the wheels of bikes – with the announcement of £100,000 in start-up funding to take their business ideas to the next level.

These Bright Ideas Awards, first established in 2008, are designed to support the development of new businesses emerging from UCL. A fund of £50,000 is available to businesses led by UCL students from any department; of that £25,000 is available for businesses led by undergraduate students and £25,000 is available for businesses led by post-graduate and alumni students.

New for the 2012 Bright Ideas Awards is an additional £50,000 loan pot for awards to members of the MSc Technology Entrepreneurship course and for graduates from the last eighteen months who’ve started businesses on graduation. 

The successful applicants had to supply a full business plan for their idea, including specific details of how the Bright Ideas funds would be used to finance the business development, and benefited from the input of UCL Student Business Advisor Lillian Shapiro in honing their plans. Those chosen were done so because it was felt they would benefit most from the money in terms of expanding their businesses.

These Awards are one of a kind – UCL is the only university in the UK to celebrate enterprise on campus, and the entrepreneurialism of our staff, students and graduates in such a high-profile manner.

Timothy Barnes

The winners of the Bright Ideas Awards were selected through a stringent judging process and had to demonstrate their potential for long-term viability as a solid business to a panel of UCL’s best business brains, investors and entrepreneurs. 

The Awards for Enterprise also saw the successes of UCL’s academic staff recognised, with two awards sponsored by UCL Business PLC – the university’s technology transfer company – presented to Professor David Selwood for his contribution to the commercialization of pharmaceutical research, and to Professor Neal Skipper and Dr Chris Howard for their research into developing commercially-viable methods to produce carbon nanotubes.

Commenting on the Awards for Enterprise, Director of UCL Advances Timothy Barnes, the university’s centre for entrepreneurship, said:

“These Awards are one of a kind – UCL is the only university in the UK to celebrate enterprise on campus, and the entrepreneurialism of our staff, students and graduates in such a high-profile manner.

“Supporting students and graduates setting up their own businesses is central to UCL’s aim to make entrepreneurship a core part of the university experience for students. We offer funding, business boot-camps and free office space to give them the best chance of their businesses blossoming and becoming the stand out successes of tomorrow.”

The Awards for Enterprise also saw the successes of UCL’s academic staff recognised, with two awards sponsored by UCL Business – the university’s technology transfer company – presented to Professor David Selwood for his contribution to the commercialization of pharmaceutical research, and to Professor Neal Skipper and Dr Chris Howard for their research into developing commercially-viable methods to produce carbon nanotubes. 

The importance of corporate partners in supporting the work of UCL and in commercializing research produced by the university was also acknowledged, with Corporate Partner of the Year Award going to mining conglomerate BHP Billiton and Small to Medium Enterprise Partner of the Year Award going to TAP Biosystems for their work in commecialising research from the Institute of Ophthalmology.

Speaking of the Award, Rosemary Drake, Chief Scientific Officer at TAP Biosystems, said: 

“TAP Biosystems is very honoured to have won this award. Since beginning our partnership with UCL four years ago, our collaboration has gone from strength to strength, resulting in three further projects, all of which have strong commercial potential. 

“Working with UCL has been a win-win for both the fortunes of TAP Biosystems and for people who will eventually benefit from the treatments we are developing through our partnership.” 

The Awards also marked the announcement of new UCL Sports Stars Bursaries for budding sportsmen and women who are studying at UCL and also compete at an international level in their chosen sport. The Bursaries will enable 75 athletes over the next three years to reach their world-class potential, and aim to highlight the similarities between those that excel in sport and those that excel as entrepreneurs: dedication, commitment, perseverance and the benefits of high quality training and support. 


Links:

UCL Business
UCL Corporate Partnerships
TAP Biosystems
BHP Billiton UCL partnership
UCL Bright Ideas Award winners 2012
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