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Student and graduate enterprise celebrated at awards night

An online directory for Afro hair, an urban fruit and veg growing scheme and a packaging opener for people with impaired grip were amongst the exciting new businesses to win generous cash prizes at Think BIG –Loughborough University’s annual student and graduate enterprise celebration.

An audience of 140 gathered to celebrate the University’s exciting new student and graduate business ideas.  The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bob Allison, presented each of the winners in the Think BIG Business Ideas Competition with £2,000 to help kick start the following new ventures:

AfroSalons.com – an online directory of the top-notch Afro hair stylists in the UK
Abigail Kwakye (Chemistry undergraduate)

Travel Roulette – a website and app for young people who enjoy globetrotting on a budget
Jac Heale (Management Science graduate), Adam Lucas Pettit (Media and Communications graduate) and Jamie Inshaw (Maths and Economics graduate)

Bingo BANISHer – a compression sports top for women
Imogen Elbourn (Sports Technology undergraduate)

Entrepreneur Handbook LTD – a resource, news and information website for entrepreneurs
David Friel (International Business undergraduate)

Version 22– A safe and easy food and drink packaging opener for older people and those with impaired grip from arthritis or stroke
Simon Lyons (Manufacturing Engineering undergraduate)

Eat Me! – A new way to enable urban communities to grow and share produce, trade knowledge and cut food miles
Sally Wood (Graphic Communication undergraduate), Rose Deakin (Design postgraduate), Susana Islas-Hernandez (Design postgraduate)

Jack Bainbridge (3D Design undergraduate) received the Santander Universities Award for jewellery for older and young people with arthritis and Perry Coppen (Civil and Building Engineering undergraduate) won the Potter Clarkson and Dragons’ Innovation Awards for Tidi-Cable, a product to improve cable safety on construction sites.  Special awards went to Ross Kemp (Design graduate in The Studio for Asap water crafts and Claud Williams (Sport Management) for The Creative Circle.  Over 4,000 public votes were cast to decide these awards.

Prizes were awarded from the Glendonbrook Centre for Enterprise Education to Sean Torpey and Ben Carless for Torpey Wood Products Ltd and Edward Hodgson, Emily Holgate, Alexander Hornsby, Stephanie Mansi and Simon Smith for Outtake Experience Ltd.

Guest speaker at the event, Peter Harrington – founder of SimVenture, the multi-award winning business simulation – demonstrated his enterprising streak by hitch-hiking from York in just a few hours to join the celebrations. 

The University’s Pro Vice Chancellor for Enterprise Professor Steve Rothberg said: “Think BIG! Night is a great opportunity to celebrate the outstanding achievements of our enterprising students and graduates. Congratulations to all our finalists.’’

Films of the finalists and photography from the Awards are available at www.lboro.ac.uk/think-big

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