Three Imperial student teams have won prizes at this year’s Mayor’s Entrepreneur Competition.
The competition aims to create growth that makes London cleaner, greener and ready for the future, equipping students with the skills they need to succeed as entrepreneurs. The competition awards students across five categories, each addressing a key challenge for London: Creative Industries, Environment, Health, Tech, and Social Enterprise.
30 finalists pitched their ideas in front of a panel of celebrity judges and a live audience, where the five Mayor’s Entrepreneurs for 2022 were chosen. Each of the five winning teams will receive £20,000 to start up their business along with expert mentoring from staff at City Hall to get their idea to market.
Fixing the future
The Environment award rewards innovations that could help reduce carbon emissions in London. Imperial’s Team Repair won the award for developing a programme to send electronic gadgets with deliberate faults to 8–12-year-olds to fix, designed to teach them key scientific knowledge and fixing skills. The team are aiming to solve two problems: getting more children into STEM (science, technology, engineering and medicine) and inspiring the next generation to repair, and in turn also helping to reduce waste.
The team’s monthly subscription-based STEM learning kit sends 8–12-year-olds a new broken electronic gadget to fix along with the necessary tools and an accompanying app to guide them through the activity. The 12-month programme will teach them key STEM knowledge and fixing skills through topics such as batteries and motors, while they get to take apart and repair real products. When finished, they return the gadget to us for reuse, but keep the tools to make the repair again.
Team Repair was co-founded by Design Engineering students Megan Hale, Anais Engelmann, Oliver Colebourne, Patrick McGuckian and Oscar Jones.
Improving braille devices
The Social Enterprise award celebrates innovations to create platforms to support different social groups in London. The winner of this award was Paige, co-founded by Imperial Biomedical Engineering students Carolina Gomes and Nina Moutonnet.
The team are developing a multi-line Braille device to allow blind or visually impaired people to access mathematical or scientific text. The team report that modern Braille technology is limited to single-line text, which makes simple reading tasks time-consuming and laborious, and means that certain fields, such as STEM subjects, are very difficult to access for people with visual impairments. The team say that existing devices are also unaffordable for many people.
The team say that their device offers an improved reading experience, opening up the world of STEM to more people. Features like an affordable built-in calculator will also help improve accessibility to Braille readers across the world.
The team are also taking part in Imperial’s WE Accelerate programme, six-months of business coaching and peer mentoring focused on helping women-led ventures get investment ready.
Defibrillator for allergies
The Health award is given to innovators who are helping to reduce waste in the health industry and make the sector more sustainable. Kitt Medical, a team, co-founded by Imperial PhD student Simon Hanassab, won the award for their all-in-one anaphylaxis prevention and treatment system for schools. Their goal is for the kit to be as recognisable and easy to use as a defibrillator, but for allergies.
By combining life-saving medication with easy-to-follow instructions and an online management system, alongside training resources for staff, the team say this enables the safe and proper treatment of severe allergic reactions in any environment, whilst actively working to prevent serious incidents from ever occurring.
Their solution is to provide adrenaline pens in their secure, wall-mounted ‘Kitt’, along with the management and training software.
"Showcasing student innovation"
Ben Mumby-Croft, Director of Imperial Enterprise Lab, said: "Congratulations to all of the Imperial teams who entered and competed in this year’s Mayor’s Entrepreneur Competition.
"The competition is a brilliant platform for showcasing student innovation and entrepreneurship from across London’s universities and Imperial students, in particular, have built-up an enviable track record in terms of picking up awards and prizes over the years – no mean feat given how strong the competition is."
Article text (excluding photos or graphics) © Imperial College London.
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