Postgraduate students battled it out for £20,000 worth of development funding for their business ideas this week.
The Centre for Doctoral Training in Imperial’s Institute of Chemical Biology hosted the 'CDT Den' the Dragons’ Den-style event where doctoral students pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges.
This year’s final, which took place on Monday, saw four teams, from an initial cohort of 17, pitch their ideas to the judging panel of Professor James Stirling, Imperial’s Provost; Professor Jackie Hunter, Chief Executive of BBSRC; Dr Alison Wall, Associate Director, Impact at EPSRC; and Paul Atherton, Founder of Nexeon - a company specialising in lithium-ion battery technology and frist established at Imperial.
The winning team was ‘FungiAlert’ whose members Kerry O'Donnelly Weaver and Angela de Manzano have created a device for the early detection of plant pathogens in fields, which could help tackle global crop loss. As well as the cash prize to of £20,000 provided by Imperial Innovations, the team will also receive entrepreneurial training and support from them as they further develop their idea.
Other inventions presented included ‘Fat Filter U Bend’, a U-bend designed to remove fats and oils from pipes; ‘D-Vulch Tech’, a chemical process to de-vulcanise used rubber tyres and ‘Invisicat’, a pheromone based mouse repellent.
Past winners include Ali Salehi-Reyhani, Duncan Casey and Joseph Kaplinsky, who designed a portable high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) device to separate, identify and quantify compounds from complex mixtures. The group went on to form AnywhereHPLC to further develop the handheld device with the support of Imperial Innovations.
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