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Student entrepreneurs set for success

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Student entrepreneurs set for success

Venture Further 2013 winners revealed





The winners of the Venture Further 2013 business start-up competition have been announced at an awards dinner at the University’s Whitworth Art Gallery.


Twelve teams of student finalists from across the University battled it out for the top prizes across three categories.


Naomi Wilde, a BSc Fashion and Textiles Retailing student, took first prize in the Business category for Fair-T – a business with an ambition to ‘make fair-trade fashionable’ by creating statement fashion pieces with ethical credentials. Runner-up in this category was BSc Actuarial Science and Mathematics graduate Gianluca Ivaldi with his street food business, Miss P’s Barbecue.

In the Social category, Master of Enterprise student Christina Taylor claimed the top prize with her Aspire Studios dance school venture aimed at disadvantaged children, young people and adults. A close second was BA Econ student Amy Win with 4Lunch – a catering organisation that enables disadvantaged young people to learn cooking skills and apply them within the business.


Anna King and Natalie Cureton, both PhD students from the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences won first prize in the Technology category. Their business LipoPep is based on a novel nanocarrier that targets existing drugs directly and selectively to the placenta to treat placental abnormalities. ZenGuard picked up second prize in this category – an IT security business from MSc Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship student Simon Specka and his business partner, Markus Hänel.


Guest speaker Stephen Welton, Chief Executive of the Business Growth Fund, opened the ceremony and awards were presented by Manchester graduate and Co-Founder of Barburrito Paul Kilpatrick, fellow Manchester graduate and MD of SKV Communications Andrew Spinoza and Ecovision Systems Founder Peter Randall.


On winning the Business category Naomi said: “I couldn't believe it! I am so excited to see what the future holds for Fair-T. It was such an amazing competition to be involved in and I was up against some tough competition.”


“It’s made me even more determined to make Fair-T succeed and I am positive that it will.”

The teams successfully reached the final after submitting their detailed business proposals. They then had to pitch to a panel of expert judges. Winners of first prize in each category were awarded £10,000 and second prize winners received £2,500. These cash awards will aid the development of the businesses and help them to get off to a flying start.


Technology category winner Anna King explained: “The prize money and prestige gained from winning the competition will be invaluable to the further development of our business. It has given us the confidence and support to take LipoPep from an idea in the lab to a product that will be the first targeted treatment for pregnancy complications.”


Competition Director Dr Martin Henery commented: "Venture Further is an annual competition run by Manchester Business School’s Enterprise Centre and is open to all students and recent alumni at The University of Manchester."


Lynn Sheppard, Manchester Enterprise Centre Director, added: “The University is incredibly supportive of enterprise and entrepreneurship activities like Venture Further. It provides an ideal opportunity to encourage and support students in taking their business ideas to the next stage and on the road to success.”


Take a look at the photos from the evening below.

Find out more about Venture Further >>
Read about other enterprise competitions >>


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