Tag Archives: Competition

Bright Ideas Winners 2015

As you may have read in our earlier post, this year’s Bright Ideas competition was a roaring success, and our judges had a hard time choosing winners! After battling it out for a prize throughout the day, our finalists were thrilled to have been rewarded for their hard work, and are excited to start bringing their ideas to life! Here are some of our winners’ stories:

Trevor Kerth – HalfNote

Trevor Kerth accepting his prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David MacKintosh.

Trevor Kerth accepting his prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David MacKintosh.

Having embarked upon an MSc in Advanced Product Design Engineering, Trevor Kerth put his expertise to good use when he created Half Note, an ingenious foldable keyboard that allows for easy and convenient transportation. Trevor was keen to ensure that his idea really did solve a problem, and the judges were impressed! Not only did Trevor win £1000 to develop his idea, but he was also voted the people’s choice by the live audience at the Bright Ideas Final.

Trevor explains: ‘As a keyboardist and pianist myself, my idea for a more travel-friendly keyboard came from my own frustration. Half Note is unique in that it folds in half to become its own protective case and includes a battery, speakers and a collapsible stand to give keyboardists the ability to travel and play anywhere. With the £1000, I plan on prototyping the first version of the Half Note and finding keyboardists to test and review the idea. The Bright Ideas competition has been able to supply the initial funding but more importantly, has given me the motivation and conviction to pursue my idea.’ Follow HalfNote on Twitter for updates on its progress!

Du’a AlSaadi – NGO Establishment in North Sudan

Du'a AlSaadi accepting her prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David MacKintosh.

Du’a AlSaadi accepting her prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David MacKintosh

Du’a W AlSaadi, currently studying for an MBA at Kingston University, was awarded £1000 at Bright Ideas for her passionate desire to help less privileged communities. Inspired by her own experiences, Du’a plans to launch an NGO establishment in North Sudan that will support and empower young girls to fulfil their aspirations.

We caught up with Du’a to hear her intentions: ‘Through the launch of a partnership between schools in North Sudan and Amman-Jordan, the project will enable young girls from both regions to connect using technological tools such as video conferencing. Bright ideas and the prize money will help in promoting workshops to raise awareness of the issue and will be allocating to a market and initial investment budget which is 10 computers, video conference materials, stationary renting halls, etc.’

As Du’a explains, she plans to create a partnership between girls from North Sudan and Jordan, which will allow for the creation of a female focused network of support and encouragement. The end goal is to ‘transform mind-sets within the culture about female empowerment by using basic technology to create a platform of dialogue between girls in both Jordan and Sudan.’

£250 Winners

Joshua Brown – Drain Power Generator

Joshua Brown accepting his prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David MacKintosh.

Joshua Brown accepting his prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David MacKintosh.

Currently studying for an MSc in Aerospace Engineering, Joshua Brown was awarded £250 for his ecological invention, a drain power generator that harnesses energy from wasted water. Joshua’s idea taps into current concerns about the sustainability and environmental impact of products, ingeniously using wasted elements to generate new power.

We asked Joshua about the motivation for his idea: ‘My idea came from a genuine interest in hydroelectric power and ‘green’ energy. After studying power generation, energy capture and storage methods, I was reminded of my experiences of tinkering with plumbing components; I put two and two together and realised that I could combine the two ideas to create an ecological household product that is unique to the market.’

Michael Kerin – Short Stories App

Michael Kerin accepting his prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David MacKintosh.

Michael Kerin accepting his prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David MacKintosh.

As the only finalist from the faculty of arts and social sciences, Michael Kerin, who is currently studying for an MA in Publishing, wowed the judges with his app of short-stories that are written by, read by, and voted on by the public.

Like most of our finalists, Michael’s idea is still in development, although his currently has two potential product names: ‘I wanted writers to post 1500 words a week, so that’s where ‘busbytes’ came from; small amounts of text that you could read on the bus. An alternative would be ‘Bear with me Books’ as I would like to impress on the reader a feeling of being invested in a writer, which would encourage the writer to continue and achieve a possible publishing dream.’

For now, Michael’s main commitment is his MA, and he’s not in any hurry to plan out the future; ‘I tend to say yes to opportunities, so I’m always excited and surprised to see where I end up next.’ However, he intends to slowly begin investigating his app’s immediate competition and the possibility of developing the app independently, which will take care of some of his prize money. As for the left-over cash, he plans to treat himself to ‘a lovely bottle of wine, or three!’

Katie Cudmore – SofaRef

Katie Cudmore accepting her prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David MacKintosh.

Katie Cudmore accepting her prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David MacKintosh.

Katie Cudmore, student of pharmacology and our only solo female finalist, drew upon her own experiences watching frustrated football fans shouting at the television to create SofaRef, an app that allows at-home viewers to vote on the fairness of referees’ decisions.

We asked Katie to share her thoughts with us: ‘My idea is an app where people can judge the decision made by the referee during a football match in order to generate statistics and see whether the ref made the right decision based on mass population opinion. My inspiration came from watching family members shout at the television so I came up with an idea that is not currently on the market. The prize money will go towards the money I am using to develop the idea further through connections with the right people. In 5 years time I hope to have the app developed and have it fully up and running. Bright ideas encouraged me to move forward and develop my idea, without bright ideas my idea would remain an idea. Because of the competition I am looking forward to move forward with it and following it through.’

Congratulations to all of our brilliant winners! We can’t wait to see how far you go with your ideas, and we look forward to raving about your success throughout the year! If you want to read about another of our winners’ stories, check out our spotlight on BeeBra, one of the £1000 ideas.

Bright Ideas Final – Highlights of 2015

After months of preparation and weeks of judging, we finally saw the culmination of this year’s Bright Ideas competition at last week’s celebration event! 

We received a record number of competition entries this year, accumulating to 360 entries from 478 students! Prior to the final ceremony, entries were assessed by our voluntary judges, and a short-list was finalised at Trigger Weekend, where students were able to present their ideas to a panel of illustrious alumni. At the beginning of the day, students took part in an animated pitching workshop, where they were able to polish their pitches in case they were called to present in front of the audience. Nerves? There were a few!

Following the pitching workshop, entrants joined the guests and judges in the De Lissa hall for our awards ceremony – aside from a slight lack of balloons and a few hiccups with our slides, the event went swimmingly! Guest speaker, Jonathan Newman, founder of Chi, kicked off the evening with an inspiring talk about making your ideas a reality – in addition to some useful ‘top ten’ lists (which will be featured in future posts) Jonathan stressed the importance of visualisation in achieving success. Ask the universe for success and it will deliver! Jonathan Newman


Following Jonathan’s pep-talk we were excited to witness the prize giving – featuring handshakes, photography and two giant cheques! The lucky winners of our £250 prizes were Kester Olarewaju, Katie Cudmore, Josue Vivas Hernandez, Guilherme Beirao, Joshua Brown, and Michael Kerin. And the £1000 winners were Trevor Kerth, DuA Alsaadi, and two group entries, ‘Detour’ – Samriddhi Chakraborty, Irene Canuti, Felix Dornseifer, Min-Hsuan Liang, Olga Spasskaya and Sabbir Khan and ‘BeeBra’ – Laura Jones, Marie Holmerud, India Higson, Anastasia Olshanskaya, and Emilio Hernández Martínez. Congratulations to all! Profiles of the winners will be posted on BizBoard during the week, so keep your eyes peeled for insights into the winning ideas!Peoples Choice Vote


But it didn’t end there! We then embarked upon a technologically dubious mission to introduce our people’s choice. Each of our guests were given a clicker upon entering the De Lissa, and were asked to use the very clever little device to vote for their favourite finalist! Thanks to his confident and animated pitch, TrevoFr Kerth was chosen as the people’s choice with his idea for a portable keyboard that folds in-half – we look forward to seeing your next line of portable drums, Trevor!

Following the ceremony we all skipped over to the business school atrium for a networking reception with plenty of food and wine for all! There was even an impromptu rendition of ‘Let It Go’ to enjoy! Overall, the judges were delighted with the quality and the range of the entries, and they all spoke highly of the importance of this kind of competition for building leadership and employability skills.

If you missed out this year, don’t fret! We’ll be opening applications for 2016’s competition in September, so get working on that Bright Idea!

Entrepreneurship Competitions – February 2015

Did you miss out at this year’s Bright Ideas competition? Don’t worry – there are plenty more fish in the sea. We don’t want your ideas to go to waste, so we’ve rounded up some of the best competitions across the UK.

Mayor of London’s Low Carbon Competition!

The Mayor of London’s popular Low Carbon Entrepreneur Competition  returns in 2015, offering more students the opportunity to share their ideas for a more sustainable, energy efficient London!

Mayor of London Comp

The Low Carbon Entrepreneur looks for innovative ideas from London’s students to help reduce London’s carbon emissions and energy usage. London is aiming to reduce its carbon emissions by 60 per cent before 2025. If you’re a London student or recent graduate with a great idea to improve London’s urban living this is the competition for you!

WinnersLast year’s winners, James Winfield and Dominic Jacobson from Imperial College London, received £15,000 and practical support for setting up their business.

Let’s make 2015 the year that the prize goes to a KU student!


Applications are now open for that chance to win one of the prizes on offer, including a generous cash prize and paid internships! Entry is free and you can submit as many ideas as you can come up with. Apply on your own or in a group, just make sure that you submit your ideas before 16 February 2015

If you want to get involved, here is a list of entry categories to get your brain ticking:

  1. Product design
  2. Transport In the city
  3. Materials/reuse and recycling/circular economies
  4. Behaviour change/networking
  5. Energy efficiency/capture/generation
  6. Food/food waste
  7. Water management
  8. Other – any other idea to help create a sustainable future for London!

For more information visit the competition website. Make sure to check in with us at BizBoard for regular updates about the competition! Good luck!

City University’s FFWD Accelerator Programme!

We’ve been given the heads-up from our contacts at City University about a great accelerator programme they’re running; the schedule starts on February 17th, so make sure to apply soon. 

FFWD is the UK’s leading pre-accelerator programme for early stage start-up teams looking to raise funding or access an Accelerator programme. Delivered in one-day sprints, over a 6-week period, this interactive, hands-on programme is designed to cover key topics such as Tech, Marketing, Finance, and much more, using a blend of expert speakers and professional industry mentors.

The programme runs twice a year, with a spring and summer intake, participating teams will come together every Tuesday at Unruly Media’s offices (just off Brick Lane in London) for an action-packed day of practical learning with expert speakers and industry mentors covering a range of relevant business topics and disciplines. Over the course of the programme, participating teams will complete weekly business sprint sessions to fast track their ideas into viable start-up ventures.

At the end of the programme, all participating teams get the opportunity to pitch their idea to an invited audience of early stage investors, start-up loans and other funding providers and representatives from the UK’s leading accelerator programmes.

Entry Criteria

  1. You must be in a team of two people or more.
  2. You must be available to attend every Tuesday for the duration of the programme.
  3. Ideally, you will have developed an early stage prototype or MVP (minimum viable product).

How do I apply?

You can find out more by reading FFWD A5 Spring Flyer 2015 and apply online at: www.ffwdlondon.com

Good luck! FFWD is a great opportunity for those who have applied for Bright Ideas as a group! Don’t miss out.

Entrepreneurship Competitions – December 2014

If our Bright Ideas competition has given you the boost you needed to get stuck into entrepreneurship with some winning concepts, why not check out some of the competitions and programmes outside of KU? There are heaps of opportunities cropping up at the moment, and we’ve complied a few of them here.  We’d love to see our KU students representing Enterprise! across the UK! 


StudentshIP Enterprise Awards 2014 – Deadline 12th December

The Intellectual Property Office is launching a new competition to give students the opportunity to fund their ideas, offering individual prizes from £10,000 to £100,000.

Enterprising university students will bid for £750,000, in a new competition designed to encourage the practical use of intellectual property (IP) in their business ideas.

Launched on 15 October 2014, the StudentshIP Enterprise Awards will provide funding, ranging from £10,000 up to £100,000, for university projects that bring enterprising students, businesses, and their local community together to work on innovative projects. In-house projects or collaborations with other universities or businesses that create, manage or exploit intellectual property will all be considered.

Award winners will increase their understanding of the value and use of intellectual property, so the next generation of graduates are better equipped to enter the world of modern business and make the most of their unique ideas. The competition will run until 12 December 2014, with fnalists announced in January and the winners in March 2015. To learn more, click here.

USW Making Business Happen Awards – Deadline 12th December

The University of South Wales is encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs from across the UK to show how they’re ‘making business happen’ and be in with a chance of winning a support package worth up to £12,500 to invest in their business or business idea.

The Making Business Happen Awards are organised by the University of South Wales as part of its tradition of encouraging and supporting entrepreneurial talent. Awards are open to start-up businesses as well as more established SME operations. A separate Aspiring Entrepreneurs Award will also recognise students from schools and colleges across the UK who can demonstrate their commitment to researching and developing an effective or innovative business idea.

Shortlists for the four award categories will be drawn up early next year, with the winners announced at a celebration event on April 16th 2015, to be held in Cardiff. To find out more, view the official launch video and to enter, visit www.uswbusinessawards.co.uk. Entries close on December 12 2014.

Deliotte Micro-Tyco Student Challenge – Deadline 31st December

The challenge is designed to identify entrepreneurial success and stimulate self-reliance and enterprise. Micro-Tyco inspires the spirit of enterprise in its purest form and rewards participants with the knowledge that in business, if they can succeed at Micro-Tyco, they can succeed at anything.

Applicants are asked to enter as part of a team of up to five people. Once the teams have been selected, they will then get to work turning a micro-loan of £1 into as much money as possible! Previous graduate teams have generated up to £75,000!

The money created from Micro-Tyco will then be invested by WildHearts in micro-loans to help the world’s poorest people work their own way out of poverty with dignity and self-respect. As a result participants will go from becoming dynamic wealth creators to global ethical investors.

To find out more download the Micro-Tyco Guidelines. Deadline for applications is 31st December.