UCL News


UCL-supported entrepreneurs win Young Innovators Awards

27 January 2023

Three entrepreneurs based at UCL have won national awards in recognition of their work tackling pressing environmental, economic and societal challenges.

A female student walks in front of a UCL sign

The startup founders work from BaseKX - UCL’s dedicated entrepreneurship hub in the King’s Cross knowledge quarter.

They are among 94 inspiring 18- to 30-year-olds selected to receive a £5,000 grant, one-on-one coaching and an allowance towards living costs to help grow their businesses.

The winning entrepreneurs are:

  • Silvia Lin (MSc Project and Enterprise Management, 2018), founder of Tycho MedLink, a mobile app to support cognitive rehabilitation of stroke patients
  • Isabella Mandich (BSc Management Science, 2022), founder of LocalMeal: an online platform designed to help adventurous foodies discover delicious, independently owned restaurants
  • Laurence Collingwood, co-founder of app Cilo with UCL graduate Ryan Brown (MSc Environmental Design and Engineering, 2019). Cilo gamifies climate action in the workplace, helping businesses build a culture of sustainability from the ground up.

As part of their support from UCL Innovation & Enterprise, via the Hatchery incubator programme at BaseKX, the startups receive tailored guidance and dedicated office space that help fast-track development of their key products.

Laurence Collingwood, co-founder of Cilo, said he was ‘hugely grateful’ to win the award, adding: “It gives me the time and finances I need to get through our first corporate trials, develop the service based on their feedback and hopefully become a self-supporting business within the next 12 months.”

Ryan Brown said: “The business support, office space, and network provided by the Hatchery programme have been incredibly valuable for Cilo over the last few months. It’s opened doors that weren’t open to us previously.”

In total, more than 400 new graduate businesses were started at UCL between 2014 and 2022. Collectively they have raised more than £300 million in investment and currently employ over 1,700 people.

Professor Geraint Rees, UCL Vice-Provost (Research, Innovation & Global Engagement) said: “Huge congratulations to all the winners of this fantastic scheme. These results are testament to the dedicated support UCL offers pioneering entrepreneurs and the difference this can make to their business journey.”

The Young Innovators Awards recognise young people with great business ideas who have the potential to become successful entrepreneurs and future leaders in innovation.

UK Science, Research and Innovation Minister, George Freeman said: “Innovation is about developing new and better ways of doing things, something young minds naturally do. Helping, inspiring and supporting our top young innovators is the best investment there is.”


Media contact

Sophie Vinter

Tel: +44 (0)20 3108 7787

Email: s.vinter [at] ucl.ac.uk