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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.”