Alumnus enjoys success at 2023 Santander X Awards

Joseph Bentley

Joseph Bentley (Product Design and Technology, 2021) has been recognised at the Santander X Awards for his innovative solution aimed at reducing fatalities from knife wounds.

Joseph, who designed REACT (Rapid Emergency Actuating Tamponade) – a device that aims to reduce catastrophic blood loss from a knife or gunshot wound – while studying at Loughborough, outperformed over 1,500 other entrepreneurs to win a place in the finals.

Last month, he was among 100 shortlisted businesses pitching their ideas at the semi-finals in London’s KIA Oval, winning a place on the final 12.

At the final on 7 December, Joseph pitched his innovation to a live audience and a panel of judges that included Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, rapper and investor Tinie Tempah and seasoned entrepreneur Sam Jones, walking away with third place and an equity-free cash prize.

REACT is a portable handheld device that inserts an expanding tamponade into knife and gunshot wounds to reduce catastrophic blood loss.

Joseph’s vision is that the device will be used by first responders - including paramedics and police officers - to help save lives around the world.

The funding received from the Santander X Awards will help Joseph and his team to further develop the award-winning system, and increase awareness of its life-saving potential.

Joseph founded his business ACT Medical in Loughborough’s business incubator, LUinc., after two of his friends were stabbed in London.

The business has already gained significant recognition - in 2021, Joseph was the first-ever winner of the International Medical James Dyson Award, and he is also the recipient of the 1851 Enterprise Fellowship at the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Joseph said: “I am honoured that Santander UK have recognised ACT Medical in this year’s prestigious X Awards. It was amazing to pitch alongside so many fantastic companies who are all doing incredibly inspiring work.”

Now in its 13th year, The Santander X Entrepreneurship Awards stand as one of the UK's major platforms for student and graduate business pitches. Over the years, they've supported numerous early-stage entrepreneurs, providing over £900,000 in equity-free funding to start-ups and small businesses.

In 2022, Loughborough alumnus Zak Marks walked away with the Santander X Launch award as well as £15,000 equity free funding for his health tech start up ‘a defibrillator for allergies’, which he began shaping while studying at Loughborough with the support of LUinc.

LUinc. is a part of the Loughborough Enterprise Network (LEN) which brings together support for entrepreneurial students from across the University to enable founders to develop skills, test ideas and setup and scale businesses.

Find out more about ACT Medical. For more information about how Loughborough University helps its graduates and spinouts develop as entrepreneurs, visit the LUinc. webpages.