Category Archives: Competitions

Shell Springboard awards

Are you a company that actively works towards reducing carbon emissions?


By 2050 the world’s population is set to increase by 2 billion people, and the demand for energy is predicted to rise by 75%.

Shell are looking for new low-carbon technologies to meet the increasing energy demand in sustainable ways.

One national winner will receive £150,000 and a further five regional winners will each get £40,000 of equity-free funding. Additional benefits include feedback from leading academics and interest from investors, to help up-scale their enterprises.

Shell have supported over 86 businesses over 10 years. – You could be the 87th!


Deadline: 17:00 on Friday 28th October 2016

For more information go to the Shell springboard website or watch the video below from past winners.


Mayor’s Entrepreneur competition 2017



This competition is NOW OPEN!

The Mayor’s Entrepreneur

Ahead of the launch of this year’s competition we are recruiting 20 interns to work with the team at City Hall to promote the Mayor’s Entrepreneur at universities across London.

If you are a current student at a university, an excellent communicator and interested in working with the team at City Hall to promote the competition to students and staff at London’s universities through direct contact, workshops, social media and other verbal and written methods


Congratulations to our Kingston Student semi-finalists last year, Nidhin, Josue and Irene!




Over the course of two  months, teams of students, residents and businesses will work together to come up with technological solutions to problems submitted by charities and social enterprises.


Launching mid-April, teams will meet a fortnightly Hackathons to work on their problem and develop a tech-based solution.

The programme will be supplemented by a training programme and pool of expert mentors who will be on-hand to provide expertise and troubleshoot your solutions.

We are currently looking for Kingston University students like you to get involved. Coding or technical expertise is not required, we are looking for people with a mix of talents and skills on each our teams.

Key Dates

Launch Event Wednesday 27th April 6pm
Hackathon 1 Wednesday 4th May 6pm
Hackathon 2 Wednesday 18th May 6pm
Hackathon 3 Wednesday 1st June 6pm
Hackathon 4 Wednesday 15th June 6pm
Pitching Event Wednesday 22nd June


Click Here to learn more and to get involved:


‘KU Entrepreneurs’ take part in the National Apprentice Challenge 2016

National Apprentice Challenge – Kingston Entrepreneurs

1522760_554221868079676_2145863101562162070_oA team of Kingston students participated in the National Apprentice Challenge 2016, competing against 80 students from 11 other universities across the UK. The intense two-day competition encouraged teams to work together, applying their knowledge, strengths and weaknesses to complete the proposed tasks and achieve the best results.

The first task had Manasi, Karan, Shinny and Shivari running a virtual mid-sized airline business for 7 months, using award-winning online simulation software. The aim of the task was for each virtual business to make as much net profit as possible, with points awarded dependent on the amount of profit made. This task consisted of five rounds in which ‘KU Entrepreneurs’ were ranked 4th place in several of them.

The second stage of the competition had team ‘KU Entrepreneurs’ conceptualising and pitching their innovative ideas for The Next Social Media Platform. Our students had only 3 minutes to pitch their ideas to a panel of serial entrepreneurs and judges. Karan Chafekar, MBA student said,  ” This round gave us experience pitching an idea in a limited time frame, to a panel of potential investors, which will be helpful in the future”.

Group photo

Manasi Jade, MA Design student said, “We had a really good time and it was a fantastic experience!”, followed by Karan Chafekar, MBA student, saying “we would like to thank Kingston University for giving us this opportunity and sponsoring us to take part in NAC 2016”.

Bright Ideas winner, Jairon Francisco, won £1000 for the best ‘STEM’ idea!

Jairon Francisco started a coffee processing business in the Dominican Republic before winning a Chevening Scholarship that brought me to Kingston University. Now studying MSc Engineering Projects and Systems Management here at KU, Jairon entered Bright Ideas and won £1000 for the best idea in the ‘STEM’ category!

Jairon, please tell us about your idea.

In the Dominican Republic, I was working with a new idea of modifying the flavour of the coffee using fermentation. As soon as I arrived in Kingston I decided to continue with my experiments and ordered some crops and fresh cherries from a greenhouse project in the UK. I found the coffee fermentation really complex and started researching more about the process. Places like Kingston University Library and The British Library suited me well: by having the opportunity to access to hundreds of articles about coffee and fermentation, I felt it was even easier to achieve my desired results.


What inspired you to enter Bright Ideas?

Since I came to the UK I have been meeting new people and growing my network. People often ask me what I was doing before coming to UK and also what is next for me. When I tell them I was opening my business their faces exhibit this expression of amazement, because the most of the people understand how laborious and challenging is that first step taken into the life as an entrepreneur. They know. So they ask. And I answer. I tell them that I have to make the best of my journey in UK and relate it all to my business. I could not say no to the Scholarship, I knew this would be aligned to what I wanted to do. So getting into the Bright Ideas competition was part of giving meaning to this UK experience. I was not expecting to win, I wanted the experience. I achieved more than I wished for.

Jairon, how do you feel about the judging process and the feedback you received from our judges?

I feel honoured and I feel great because my first judges were young entrepreneurs and businessmen and they looked thrilled by my idea. At first, I think they were a little worried because I wanted to modify the flavour of their coffee. They wanted to debate with me and then I could explain freely the complex terms of the biochemistry of the coffee. They listened to me and provided good insights about the viability of my product in the market. The second group of judges were older and more experienced in different fields. I was shocked when they asked me more about the science behind my experiment with key questions. They looked to me like they had some background experience in Science and Management. Their insights were more straightforward to the product and the patenting. I think the contest was very transparent, smart; I would not change anything regarding the judging process. It was perfect!

What are you most proud of?

Personal milestones like presenting my idea, getting out of the comfort zone, I was even sick with the flu the day of my training and during my final pitching, but I decided to overcome that and continue to the end to get the best out of myself and the most out of the experience. The feedback I received, especially coming from people with the reputation of those judges, is like gold for me.

What do you aim to do with your winning from bright ideas?

Let’s say I won some really important contacts: people. I was approached by two potential investors. I also found three participants who are coffee lovers, one of them owns a farm in India, the other one owns a coffee shop in Turkey, and the other wants to study biotechnology and wanted to meet me. Those are more important winnings. The money would help me to order some sensors I could not afford before. I will continue adjusting the software that controls the fermentation tank prototype.

Looking back, what would you have done differently with your idea?

I think I still lack some important knowledge in some fields of biochemistry. I wish I can do more because I am just approaching what I know until know, and sometimes I feel limited by my own knowledge. There are more problems in the coffee industry, a lot more. I wish my idea was capable of solving them all.

How do you feel about the overall experience of Bright Ideas?

It was amazing. It was so amazing that I keep telling everybody that I will open every door I can open from now on and if those doors are not to be open, once in a while, I will knock them up.

How did Enterprise and Kingston University support you in developing and growing your ideas?

Enterprise gave me training for free, an opportunity to meet amazing, successful entrepreneurs and experienced investors. They gave me the opportunity to pitch my idea to the public and gave me a voice. I was put in contact with investors. I don’t think I could ask for more.

There is this moment in life when you finally understand why going through it was the best choice ever” – Jairon Francisco