The Bartlett School of Planning


Arya Taware and Robin Karlsen win UCL Bright Ideas award

12 June 2014

UCL Planning students Arya Taware and Robin Karlsen have been recognized at the UCL Bright Ideas Awards 2014 for their achievement in creating the real estate crowdfunding platform RealFunds.

Planning students Arya Taware and Robin Karlsen win UCL Bright Ideas award

Arya and Robin were presented with their award on Thursday 29th May at a ceremony to celebrate the best and brightest student and graduate entrepreneurs at UCL, and also received £10,000 in funding to support the development of their new business. 

Launched in 2008, the Bright Ideas Awards aim to support the development of new businesses emerging from UCL by bridging the gap many new companies find themselves in when they search for their first funding.

RealFunds was in competition with 36 other companies for the award, and in order to win Arya and Robin presented a full business plan to a panel of six judges, including specific ideas of how the Bright Ideas funds would be used to effectively finance the development of the business. They were chosen to receive the award as it was felt that they would benefit most from the money in terms of expanding their business. They intend to use the Bright Ideas funding to finance the regulation of RealFunds by the Financial Conduct Authority.

RealFunds is the first crowdfunding platform in the UK aimed at raising capital to finance real estate projects. It is an online platform which connects investors and property developers, and is set to revolutionise property investing by giving developers an alternative access to capital and providing high quality real estate investment opportunities for users looking to invest according to their own values and budgets. RealFunds aims to open up real estate investment to a wider audience, including people who are willing to invest sums of £10,000 to £20,000 in real estate developments.