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Ross Kemp shortlisted for Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards

Design graduate Ross Kemp is one of only five finalists to be shortlisted for the national Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards. Ross, who graduated from Loughborough in 2011 with First Class Honours, was selected for the undergraduate award for Asap Water Crafts, an electric powered, one-person water craft he developed during his final year degree project as a more financially viable and sustainable option for lifeguards and the leisure market.

Ross is part of the University’s Inspiring, Enterprising Graduates campaign. Earlier this year, he won Best Start-up Business of the Year in the Lloyds TSB Enterprise Awards, scooping the top prize of £10,000. In 2012, Ross reached the finals of The BBC 3 show Be Your Own Boss, enabling him to produce a full-scale prototype which has attracted the attention of lifeguard directors from some of the world’s most challenging coastlines.

Cheaper and more economical to maintain than a jet ski, the Asap water craft can be launched immediately by one person as well as being charged using solar energy. With the support of The Studio, the University’s graduate business development programme, Ross has honed his business idea and is now investment ready. As well as providing professional office space, The Studio enables Ross to access the University’s specialist resources and external network of experts to maximise his commercial prospects.

Ross must now make a pitch to a panel of at judges at London’s BMA House on 25 June. The winners will then be announced at the Santander Entrepreneurship Awards ceremony held on the same day.

The Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards, now in its third year, is funded by the Santander Universities Global Division and aims to support and encourage university students to pursue their business ideas. The competition is open to students from all 66 UK universities partnering with the Santander Universities Global Division. Five finalists have been selected for both the undergraduate and the postgraduate award, where the top prize is £20,000.

Stephen Brooks, Santander’s Head of Public Finance and Infrastructure said: “Having been part of the judging panel for three years in a row I can say it has become increasingly difficult to choose just five entries per category. The quality of the business cases submitted is outstanding and the students have impressed us all in the judging panel with their innovative ideas full of market potential. This is testament of the excellent work done by many UK universities encouraging their students to become entrepreneurs. At Santander we are delighted to support these entrepreneurs and we are certain they will become the successful business men and women of the future.”


Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 13/107

1. About Santander Universities

Through its Santander Universities Global Division, Santander has collaborated with universities for more than 15 years on a unique global initiative which distinguishes it from other national and international banks and financial institutions. The bank supports the Higher Education sector in such areas as teaching and research, international cooperation, knowledge and technology transfer, entrepreneurial initiatives, student mobility and innovation. Santander Universities Global Division maintains a stable alliance with more than 1.020 academic institutions all over the world. ‘Santander Universities’ was introduced in the UK in 2007 and the bank is already collaborating with sixty-six British Universities and Higher Education Institutions, with agreements focused in promoting international exchange, entrepreneurial activities and the mobility of students and researchers within the network.

2. About Santander

Santander UK plc is a full-service retail and commercial bank providing services to 15 million active customers, with almost 1,200 branches and 36 regional business centres.  It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Banco Santander. Santander UK plc manages its affairs autonomously, with its own local management team, responsible solely for its performance. Santander UK is firmly focused on the UK with c. 98% of customer assets UK-related and c. 84% of customer loans consisting of prime residential mortgages to UK customers. The total balance sheet remains UK focused, with a minimal net exposure after collateral to eurozone periphery countries only amounting to c. 0.4% of total assets. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

3. About Loughborough University

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the Best Student Experience in England every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 11 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.


Anna Leather
Marketing Manager (Enterprise)
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223445

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