Imperial students win big at Mayor’s entrepreneurship competition


A view of City Hall and Tower Bridge in London

Three out of four of this year’s Mayor’s Entrepreneur Programme awards were given to Imperial student teams.

The Mayor’s Entrepreneur Programme aims to find to capital’s best student business ideas that will benefit the city. The competition has four awards, three of which were won by Imperial student teams this year, each being awarded a £20,000 prize for their business.  

Entrepreneurial flair

The competition is aimed at selecting the best and brightest student business ideas to help deliver good growth for London, and supports the city to become cleaner, greener and ready for the future. The competition hopes to ensure students get the skills they need to succeed in a fair, inclusive society and thriving economy.   

Speaking the to finalists, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "During this competition, you have already demonstrated that you have the energy, the ideas and the imagination to overcome adversity, to succeed professionally and to help London get back on its feet.

"In the years to come, our city will need your talent, your ambition and your entrepreneurial flair more than ever - not only to create jobs, value and wealth, but to help tackle some of the defining social, economic and environmental challenges of our time."

Health innovation 

The health award, won by Unhindr, aims to find innovations that improve physical and/or mental health for Londoners, reduce waste and make the health sector more sustainable.  

Ugur Tanriverdi, founder of Unhindr, at a MTSC event
Ugur Tanriverdi, founder of Unhindr, at a MTSC event

Unhindr is developing a technology to address the issue of inflexible prosthetic limb fitting which leaves amputees in pain and dependent on fitting clinics. Their solution Roliner is a sock that understands the body’s daily changes and adapts to them automatically using artificial intelligence without needing hospital visits.  

Unhindr was founded by Ugur Tanriverdi, a PhD candidate in the Department of Bioengineering who was also part of the inaugural cohort of the MedTech SuperConnector programme (MTSC) facilitates the early stage development of innovative medical technologies.  

Improving London’s Environment  

The environment award aims to find innovations to reduce carbon emissions and improve the environment in London and was won by The Tyre Collective.  

A device fitted to a tyre to collect emissions
The Tyre Collective's device attached to a tyre

The team founded by students from the Dyson School of Design Engineering have designed a solution to the growing problem of pollution caused by tyre wear from vehicles. Every time a vehicle brakes, accelerates or turns a corner, the tyres wear down and tiny particles become airborne, producing half a million tonnes of tyre particles annually in Europe alone.  

Their device captures microplastics from tyres as they are emitted. Once collected, the fragments can be reused in new tyres or other materials such as ink. The team made up of Siobhan Anderson, Hanson Cheng, M Deepak Mallya, and Hugo Richardson studied Innovation Design Engineering, a course offered jointly by Imperial and the Royal College of Art. Earlier this year, the team won the The Moonshot Prize, sponsored by Air Asia, in Imperial’s Venture Catalyst Challenge

Smart cities 

The smart cities award aims to find technological innovations to make London a better place to live and work and was won by Toilets4London, a mobile app that enables people to find toilets wherever they are in the city.  

Toilets in the City of London
Toilets in the City of London

The app which has a focus on improving hygiene and accessibility, will provide businesses such as cafes, pubs and restaurants with a way to open their toilets to the public while charging a small fee to cover maintenance and cleaning.  

Toilets4London was founded by Biomedical Engineering student Nina Rimsky.  

“Unique entrepreneurship ecosystem” 

Rebeca Santamaria-Fernandez, Acting Director of Enterprise at Imperial, said: “Imperial’s unique entrepreneurship ecosystem produces some of the most promising startups, both in London and globally. We are so proud to see three Imperial teams taking home prizes in the Mayor’s Entrepreneur Competition – creating commercial opportunities and social impact for our city and beyond.”  


Joanna Wilson

Joanna Wilson
Communications Division

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Student-entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship, Comms-strategy-Entrepreneurial-ecosystem, Enterprise
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