May 11, 2016, by Genelva Meikle
Ingenuity16: That’s a wrap!
“The world is more malleable than you think and it’s waiting for you to hammer it into shape”, Bono
This year, Ingenuity16 saw 450+ entrants with ideas covering 12 sectors, including social impact, health, apps & software, and computer sciences. Over 300 applicants attended a day-long boot-camp, receiving support from 40 mentors as they developed their ideas. 130 business plans were submitted following 10 developmental seminars, with the top 20 pitching over 3 days, all for a share of the £110,000 prize fund. The prize fund wouldn’t have been possible without the support of sponsors Santander Universities, Shakespeare Martineau, BDO, Potter Clarkson, as well as considerable commitment from the University of Nottingham.
Last week, we celebrated the success of the Ingenuity16 prize winners. The evening consisted of an awards ceremony hosted by Ingenuity Lab Manager, Steve Chapman and attended by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir David Greenaway; who presented the Vice-Chancellor’s Entrepreneurship Awards. The evening ended with a celebratory party, attended by all of the competition entrants, sponsors and competition mentors with performances by alumni band, Miss600.
Pictures of the evening can be found on our Facebook page as well as selfies taken by our resident Selfie Queen, Ingenuity Lab Member and owner of Kohl Kreatives, Trishna Daswaney, which can be found on Instagram.
We caught up with Ingenuity16’s top five winners to find out how they plan on using their prize money what their overall experience was in taking part in Ingenuity16:
Johnny Pryn (BA English, 2014), one of the partners of One Third Stories, is developing a series of books that start in English and end in a different language. By gradually introducing foreign words, they are making learning a language as easy as reading a story.
One Third Stories walked away with an astonishing five prizes to support the development of their business including the Vice-Chancellor’s Entrepreneurship Award (£10,000), 1st Prize (£5,000), a Potter Clarkson Award (£5,000), a Shakespeare Martineau Award (£5,000) and an Enterprise Grant, worth £10,000.
“The money is going to allow us to get a digital version of our first product into schools free of charge. That means we can test our Clockwork Methodology ® on a much larger scale and give even more children the gift of another language. Aside from spending a lot of time on trains between Nottingham and London, Ingenuity16 was a fantastic process. It’s always great meeting other entrepreneurs to swap stories of start-up life with, and the competition really helped Alex and I to improve the way we pitch One Third Stories.
My business partner, Alex Somervell couldn’t make the awards ceremony, so I had a bit of a nerve-racking wait by myself when it came to the actual awards! But I had a great time meeting lots of the other teams from the top 20 and reminiscing about my days as a student.”
Mitchell Fasanya who is currently in his second year studying Computer Science founded Fanbytes, software that allows brands with small or large budgets to tap into this new form of marketing in a stress fee environment.
Mitchell received four prizes during the evening; those were the Vice-Chancellor’s Entrepreneurship Award (£10,000), 2nd Prize (£3,000), Shakespeare Martineau Award (£5,000) and Enterprise Grant worth £7,000.
“We will use the money to attend more marketing events to increase our exposure in the market. We also want to hire another developer to help build our new platform.
Ingenuity16 was an exciting experience, which was both educational and enjoyable! It was a great learning curve that taught me to look at our business process regularly to assess if there are improvements to be made.”
VE Paddles (VE) founder, Stu Morris (PhD Engineering, 2015) took home 3rd Prize (£2,000), a BDO Award (£5,000) and an Enterprise Grant worth £5,000.
VE have developed an innovative award winning range of water sports paddles with solid manufacturing methods – an established company with an existing customer base generating income.
“VE will be using the prize money to purchase machinery in order to increase efficiency and facilitate growth.
Ingenuity16 has been a unique experience; it provided a process of developing a business idea, through accessing an array of expert business mentors, then accumulating the knowledge gained into a ‘Dragons Den’ style pitch competition in front of a panel of well-seasoned business experts.
It was great to have gain recognition for my business idea at the awards ceremony. As a sole operator within my business it can be hard to gauge where you are at in the grand scheme of things and the Ingenuity16 competition definitely helped focus my business idea and plan for future success.”
The Asia Business Prize winners were businesses WaiWan 外玩 and Lian, owned by Ingenuity Lab Ambassador Lili Zhu (Film and Television Studies, 2015), each taking home £5,000.
Lili plans on using the money she won to invest in more marketing to further promote her business.
“We are grateful to have won the Asia Business Prize. Ingenuity16 was a fun and educating experience and every young entrepreneur should give it a try!”
Based in Ningbo, winners WaiWan 外玩 sent a thank you video played during the event:
We had had a great time making dreams come true and look forward to hearing how the businesses develop. Please keep an eye out for more information about the Top20 over the coming weeks. If you are interested in entering for Ingenuity17, please complete the following form.