The creators of an app that saves diners time by ‘queuing for them’ at restaurants were the big winners at the UK’s largest innovation event.
‘Walkin’ scooped first prize of £5,000 as well as the prestigious Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation award of £10,000 at Ingenuity18. The winners were announced at a ceremony at the University of Nottingham on Tuesday 24 April.
Claiming second prize of £3,000 was Quensus and third prize of £2,000 was Yoop.
Ingenuity18 is the brainchild of Ingenuity Event Director Steve Chapman and now in its third year which includes participants from Ningbo and Malaysia campuses. The Ingenuity event is the annual talent search for future leaders and innovators and feeds into the work of the Ingenuity Lab where innovators are enabled to start ground-breaking new enterprise.
The competition has attracted over 1,000 participants since its inception and awarded over £359,000 in prizes.
The winning company of the evening – Walkin, was founded by Nottingham graduates Amos Teshuva (BSc Economics, 2014), Frazer Harper, and Archie Kennedy-Dyson (Computer Science, 2017).
The team created an app to improve the efficiency and service of non-bookable restaurants telling them the current wait time and their place in the queue remotely.
Walkin has already proven a success, by partnering with restaurant Eggbreak. In one month, Eggbreak was able to seat 1,743 guests through Walkin, leading to an increase in weekend revenue of 14 per cent.
Having entered the Ingenuity Competition for the first time last year, the team came back with a much stronger business plan that has taken Ingenuity18 by storm.
Amos Teshuva, Director of Walkin, said: “The Ingenuity18 experience was incredible; insightful talks, meeting other great teams and an amazing awards ceremony, we’ve made so many connections that we know will last.
“The winnings are invaluable, the cash means we can buy iPads for the restaurants to use our products and hire developers to speed up our builds. The legal advice will be hugely useful for contracts with our customers and trademarking, and the financial advice will mean we will present our business the right way when raising funds.
“We are so grateful. When we quit our jobs and took a big risk we were really nervous, but with the help of Ingenuity18, Walkin has the opportunity to be something special and we can’t thank the Ingenuity Lab or the University enough for that. Its things like this that make the University of Nottingham the best place to go to!”
Professor Simon Mosey, Director of the Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, said: “I am sure that Ingenuity 18 will have a positive and lasting impact on all of the participants. Some will have been inspired to pursue ideas that otherwise would have lay dormant. Others will have a much greater understanding of how innovation really works and they can use this to work together with our partners and supporters to solve the problems that they are most passionate about.”
Future business leaders
Professor Shearer West, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “The evening was hugely impressive and inspirational, demonstrating the high calibre of University of Nottingham students and graduates. It is satisfying to see that the businesses being created by the Ingenuity Event are world class. The Ingenuity18 event also points to an exciting future where we engage with all parts of the University’s diverse community to seek solutions to problems worth solving, as an institution, and globally.”
Steven Chapman, Head of The Ingenuity Lab and Ingenuity Event Director, said: “We are so pleased as a team that we have been able to once again showcase the amazing talent the University of Nottingham produces. The standard and the success is humbling and gives me hope that the future is in safe hands. We would like to congratulate not only all the winners, but all the participants who gained such value from the entire event.”
Ingenuity18 is funded from a mix of ESIF, HEIF and Santander funds. The prize fund is also made up of in-kind prizes from our corporate partners Shakespeare Martineau, BDO, Potter Clarkson, Engineers in Business (Sainsburys Management Fellows), UNIP and Paragon Law. Also internally the Asia Business Centre offers the Asia Business Prize (from HEIF Funds).