Loughborough Alumni


10 Jul 2019

Alumnus start-up in the running for national award

George Winfield’s company, Spyras, has been named as one of twelve finalists in the 2019 Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards. 

The awards, launched in 2011, are one of the UK’s largest entrepreneurial business pitching competitions for students and recent graduates.

The best and most forward-thinking entries can receive capital investments, mentoring and start-up support, with the national final deciding the winner in London in October.

Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities UK commented: “Young entrepreneurs are the future backbone of our economy so it’s vital we encourage and support them to make their business dreams a reality. We’re thrilled to announce the 12 finalists and we look forward to judging this year’s most creative and innovative UK talent at the finals in October.”

Spyras uses paper-based sensors that are smaller than a 5p coin, to continuously monitor breathing and predict future abnormally high respiratory rates, one of the most sensitive and earliest indicators in patient’s developing sepsis.

The condition kills over 46,000 people in the UK each year, more than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined.

Currently, clinicians monitor this through manually counting the rise and fall of a patient’s chest, which can be error-prone and time-consuming. However, Spyras can continuously monitor a patient’s respiratory rate and alert doctors to hidden signs of the condition, which can cause death within hours if left untreated, at a much earlier stage.

Spyras was selected from a shortlist of 60 semi-finalists, having pitched their business idea to a panel of judges in one of three regional heats. The winners will receive up to £25,000 of seed funding, with two runners-up receiving £15,000.

This is not the company’s first taste of success, having won the London Mayor’s Entrepreneurial Award for Tech in April, as well as several other awards.

We wish George the best of luck in the competition.

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