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Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Award makes three in a row for Ross Kemp

Image copyright: Leo Cinicolo

Design graduate Ross Kemp is celebrating a hat trick of awards in one month for his start-up business, Asap Water Crafts, an electric powered, one-person water craft for lifeguards and the leisure market.

Last night he pitched his business to a panel of judges at London’s BMA house to win £1,000 in the national Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards. The Awards are funded by the Santander Universities Global Division and aim 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.

Ross’s Santander Award success comes less than a week after he scooped £1,000 at Think BIG – Loughborough University’s student and graduate enterprise awards. In April, Ross won the Best Start-up Business of the Year in the Lloyds TSB Enterprise Awards, scooping the top prize of £10,000.

Ross, who graduated from Loughborough in 2011 with First Class Honours, is part of the University’s Inspiring, Enterprising Graduates campaign. In 2012, Ross reached the finals of The BBC 3 show Be Your Own Boss, enabling him to produce a full-scale prototype water craft 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.

"This has been such an exciting month for Asap," Ross said. "I am so pleased to be recognised through the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards which have also provided new business connections that will open more doors to help me drive the business forward.”

Professor Steve Rothberg, Loughborough’s Pro Vice Chancellor (Enterprise) said: “Ross is an outstanding ambassador for graduate enterprise. We’re delighted to have been able to support his business in its early stages through The Studio and he fully deserves the tremendous success that he has achieved. I wish him a very prosperous future.”