Full-time MBA student Henry Spethmann’s team Biokind have won the £3,000 runners-up fund at the Imperial Business (IB) Pitch 2018 finals.
Henry was part of one of six teams who took part in the entrepreneurial competition for Business School students, which culminated in a pitch final in front of key partners from London’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Each team had access to business coaching, pitch performance training and sessions with sector and investment experts over the six-week programme, giving them the opportunity to advance their idea and kickstart their business.
With the goal of winning the amazing £5,000 top prize or a share of the £3,000 runners-up fund, teams then took part in a high pressure five-minute business pitch at the final on 7 August, followed by a Q&A. Winners were then selected through an online live vote.
This year’s winners Coillection, whose venture is a platform that connects oil collectors to households through domestic collections to solve the improper oil and fat disposal problem, received a fast track pass to compete in the Venture Catalyst Challenge, Imperial’s biggest entrepreneurship competition, as well as their cash prize.
Runners-up Biokind’s venture involves using crop waste to create an alternative protein food source for aquaculture.
“We are a sustainable fish protein company, seeking to end ocean bed trawling and the harmful use of fishmeal in fish farming and instead help farmers grow fish sustainably,” said Henry.
How did they come up with their idea? “One team-member has experience in aquaculture and knew there was a gap in the market for new types of protein,” said Henry, who had five years of international experience in design, research and sales in the media and advertising industries before starting the MBA programme.
Henry met his teammates Chien Chua, Rui Lee and Maxwell Swinscow-Hall at an Ideas Marketplace event, and said they found having access to elements of the six-week programme really helpful.
The investor clinics and pitch performance training were very helpful in order to get us to think bigger and be bolder in our approach.
Henry, who is part of the 2017-18 cohort, said that it was ‘nerve-wracking’ to pitch in front of the accelerators, incubators and grant providers at the exclusive private final in the Imperial Enterprise Lab, but that the team still had a good time.
They plan to use their prize money to further develop Biokind.
“We will use it to conduct feed trials of our product on live fish, which will hopefully get us closer to achieving seed funding,” said Henry.
You can find out more about Biokind here.