The top 3 teams (L-R) Decorate, Acticool and Empower Malawi
Teams of undergraduate students took home cash prizes to further develop their business ideas at The University of Nottingham’s annual Undergraduate Ingenuity Prize (UIP) event.
Participants ranged from law students to mechanical engineers and demonstrated how partnerships across different subjects can result in innovative solutions to problems.
The challenge, run by the Ingenuity Lab - part of Nottingham University Business School’s Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, asked teams of students to pitch their business ideas to an external panel of judges who then selected teams to win a share of the £25,000 prize fund to enable them to further progress their business. The judges were looking for ideas that demonstrated innovation and inventiveness as well as a genuine need for the product or service.
Over 200 participants registered to attend a boot camp run by the Ingenuity Lab, which provided training in the skills required to develop their ideas and present them effectively. Steve Chapman, Manager of the Ingenuity Lab said: “The competition was a great success and building on previous years, attracted more undergraduates from more schools across the University, offering the Prize its most diverse and dynamic year yet.”.
Team Acticool took first prize with their idea for a hot and cold injury therapy product which can be used to aid recovery of patients post operation as well as relieving muscular skeletal injuries. The team is made up of three third year students on very different courses: Will Lambert studying medicine, Philip Cohen studying mechanical engineering and Alexander Gallimore who is studying philosophy.
Philip said: "The Undergraduate Ingenuity Prize was an invaluable experience that helped us take our idea and progress it to a fully developed business plan. With the support of the Ingenuity Lab we are now moving on to starting a legitimate business with real scope for the future."
Second place went to innovative paint storage system, Decorate and third place to social enterprise, Empower Malawi.
Professor Simon Mosey, Director of the Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship said: “It was fantastic to see our students working on challenges ranging all the way from improving city life through to healing sports injuries and I can’t wait to see how their exciting new businesses develop and grow in the Ingenuity Lab.”
Team Open Mind won the competition’s Asia Business Prize with their idea for an online language development programme to aid Chinese students with their English conversation skills. The team of three management students included Luyang Xu, a student at The University of Nottingham Ningbo China who is currently studying at the University’s UK campus in Nottingham.
Jason Feehily, Head of the Asia Business Centre at The University of Nottingham said: “The Asia Business Centre was delighted to sponsor the Asia Business Prize for the Undergraduate Ingenuity Prize. The presentations were excellent and the breadth of ideas was extraordinary. We are really pleased to be supporting the important issue of language and cultural integration through an innovative, student led business.”
The winning teams will receive a share of over £10,000 courtesy of Santander Universities, the University's Careers and Employability Service and the Higher Education Innovation Fund and professional advice from sponsors Haines Watts and Marketest.
Sharon Bell, Associate Director of the Careers and Employability Service at The University of Nottingham said: “The Careers and Employability Service is pleased to have been able to sponsor the Undergraduate Ingenuity Prize. This represents a fantastic opportunity for undergraduate students to innovate and develop their entrepreneurial skills. All the finalists demonstrated that they had put a considerable amount of time and effort into their business ideas, and through that process they will have undoubtedly enhanced their employability skills.”
Find out more about the Undergraduate Ingenuity Prize.
Posted on Friday 17th April 2015