Specifically designed for innovative young business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, this is the fifth year that NACUE has scoured the country in search of the best and brightest up-and-comers of the business world... and the stage is now set for a dramatic showdown at Google Campus in London this Friday.
In partnership with Tata, NACUE have painstakingly whittled down the 400 digital applications received to a final shortlist of just 7, who they think represent the best that the country's young entrepreneurs have to offer. This magnificent seven (we couldn't resist) shall now go head to head in front of 150 entrepreneurs, investors, public figures and members of the media in a final battle which will see one of them crowned winner of a £10,000 cash injection into their startup and gain the significant kudos which now come with this very coveted prize.
There are a great range of business ideas and startups in the running this year including:
University of Loughborough graduate Ross Kemp, 27 who has developed power assisted watercraft for beach lifeguards, during life saving practice at university. Cambridge graduates Ed Moyse and Harry Huang whose app, Wyre, makes it easier for individuals to make payments through Bitcoin. Social enterprises SmartFuel, which converts waste cooking oil into energy in Ghana, and M-24 bags who repurpose used Lorry tarpaulin into eco friendly bags will also be pitching
This year’s finalists will no doubt be aware of the huge shadow cast by some of last years competitors, the top 3 of which have seen tremendous success in the intervening 12 months and now have a combined value of around £10 million.
Blaze and their product LaserLight, was last year’s winner. It is a simple bicycle light innovation which aims to vastly improve the safety of cyclists traveling in the dark. Through a patented feature LaserLight projects a laser image of a bicycle 6 meters in front of the bicycle, a nifty trick that alerts drivers and pedestrians to their presence.
NACUE chief executive Johnny Luk said of the competition:
“Over the years, we’ve seen hundreds of incredible and innovative applications to the Varsity Pitch, from turning beans into biofuel, to online platforms that help buyers make decisions in seconds. Past winners have used the Varsity Pitch as a platform to accelerate growth, advance product development or attract investors who attend these events. Even the opportunity to hone a pitch, gain feedback and meet like-minded entrepreneurs is a valuable experience. That’s what we’re all about at NACUE.
“The enthusiasm and energy from our past and current applicants provides a buoyant reminder that the UK is a bubbling hub of inventions and great ideas. We can’t wait to see the final pitches!”
Nor can we Johnny! Best of luck from the team at Startacus.