This year student enterprise was included in the annual public engagement awards for the first time with two new categories: ‘Most Promising Student Business’, awarded to the business with the best track record and potential for future success; and ‘Most Entrepreneurial Student of the Year’, awarded to the student who has used their creativity and leadership skills to make a significant contribution to an entrepreneurial project (or multiple projects).
The competition for each award was tough, but finalists and winners were as follows:
Most Promising Student Business 2015
Winner: Luna www.lunaapp.co
Luna is a mobile app that guides you to the safest walking routes at night, co-founded by Soham Trivedi (QMUL MSc and BSc Computer Science) and Robin Bhaduri, (Oxford University MSci Chemistry). Since the formation of the concept in October of 2014, Luna has grown exponentially. They have developed the app, and are now partnered with almost every council in Greater London as well as a few business development districts in Camden and Waterloo to collect data. They won the iDEA award in April out of 2000 applicants, and since then have partnered with Microsoft, Facebook and Barclays, as well as teaming up with Google who are covering digital infrastructure costs up to £100k.They’ve also been finalists in the Founders Forum and Santander 60 Second Pitch competitions.
Runner Up: Kam Alive Chocolates www.kamalive.co.uk
Kam Alive are a brother and sister duo, Ariel and Daniella Kamara, who hand-make fresh, raw and healthy chocolate that has no added sugar, no wheat, and is vegan friendly. Ariel studied Design and Innovation at Queen Mary and won a ‘Grow It’ award in 2014 to help increase manufacturing capacity of the business. He was also sponsored by Careers & Enterprise to attend the European Innovation Academy, a summer accelerator programme in Nice. Since starting as a small farmers market stall they are now stocked in 3 high street retailers, sell through their own website, and are included in two monthly subscription boxes.
Entrepreneurial Student of the Year 2015
Winner: Ivan Tan
Ivan Tan graduated from an MSc in Investment and Finance in the summer. While he was studying for his first degree at Bath he set up Brook Alternative, an art investment business that has since had a six figure investment sum and has now opened an office in Mayfair. While at Queen Mary he used the enterprise service to its fullest, with his idea for a free events app ‘Bevvy’ securing both ‘Try It’ and ‘Grow It’ funds and a place on the first cohort of InQUBEate, our start-up incubator programme. He also played a big role in the organising team of 3DS and was a committee member of QM Entrepreneurs.
Runner Up: Simone Fattouche
While studying for an accelerated two year law degree at Queen Mary, Simone had the idea for an app that could replace traditional paper shop receipts. She pitched the idea at 3-Day Start-up (3DS), an enterprise boot map put on by Queen Mary Careers & Enterprise, and through this assembled a team to test out the idea. Since then she used the mentor contacts from the bootcamp to help her to find a technical co-founder, and BillHive was born. Simone is a great example of someone who had an idea, but recognised that she didn’t have the technical skills or experience to launch it on her own, and instead used her leadership and resourcefulness to build a team in order to make her vision a reality.