Imperial’s newest students got a taste of entrepreneurship as Imperial Enterprise Lab kicked off the new academic year with a weekend of activities.
Launch Weekend 2019 invited students from across the College to hear from inspirational speakers, participate in entrepreneurial challenges, and fast-track the development of their ideas.
Over the weekend, students were invited to build multidisciplinary teams and work together to identify and solve a key problem facing society – from food shortages to antimicrobial resistance.
They then took part in pitch training and masterclasses to hone their ideas before competing for cash prizes.
First prize went to Beatle Gietema (Business School), Gatsby Fitzgerald (Chemistry), Giovanni Montefiori (Mechanical Engineering), Nikolaus Mueller (Business School), and Salma El-Ghrably (Business School) for their idea called Dr Duck. Dr Duck is a device that could be placed in a toilet bowl that analyses urine in real time and can raise any early warning signs of illnesses such as diabetes.
Runners up included Bye Foot, an app to help individuals in large cities choose the most low-carbon route to get to their destination, and Appzheimers: an app for Alzheimers patients and carers that can monitor disease progression and provide personalised memory games.
The event marks the start of a new academic year of entrepreneurship activities from Imperial Enterprise Lab. These include WE Innovate, the College’s flagship entrepreneurship programme for women, and the Venture Catalyst Challenge, a competition which supports deep science and early-stage tech startups founded by Imperial students.
Launch Weekend 2019 was supported by Santander Universities, who have generously donated more than £55,000 to a number of Enterprise Lab initiatives supporting student entrepreneurs. These also include the Imperial Venture Mentoring Service and the Digital and Fintech track of the Venture Catalyst Challenge.
Louise Fairleigh, Relationship Manager at Santander Universities UK said: "Santander Universities has a long-standing relationship with Imperial and are pleased to be partnering with Imperial Enterprise Lab to support their student innovators and entrepreneurs. We look forward to working closely with the team on their initiatives over the coming year."
Hacking, making, innovating
This week also saw Imperial College Advanced Hackspace (ICAH) open its doors to new inventors, hackers and makers from around the College.
ICAH provides access to specialist manufacturing equipment, training, and a network of like-minded members, to help anyone at the College turn their ideas into real breakthrough prototypes and solutions.
There are hackspaces across South Kensington Campus, and the College’s bespoke workshop at The Invention Rooms in White City contains a fully equipped bio-lab, alongside state-of-the-art 3D printing, electronics, metalwork and woodwork equipment.
At the Open House event, held at the Invention Rooms, ICAH showcased its facilities while attendees heard from CEO and Co-Founder of startup Bare Conductive, Matt Johnson.
Bare Conductive produces conductive paint and printable electronics, allowing electrical circuits to be ‘drawn’ onto walls and surfaces. The startup was founded in 2009 by four graduates of Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art.
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