April 18, 2017, by Elizabeth Smith
Ingenuity17: The Ignited Minds!
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better” – Samuel Beckett
The theme of this years Ingenuity Competition, Ingenuity17, was #IgniteTheMind.
It provided an opportunity for over 600 students and alumni from The University of Nottingham (UoN), The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC); The University of Nottingham Ningbo Campus (UNNC) to collaborate, exchange ideas, and inspire one another with their innovative business ideas.
The Ingenuity17 Prize Giving Ceremony saw the Top 21 finalists, Ingenuity17 entrants, mentors, judges, sponsors, and a range of VIP guests come together to celebrate the competition and find out the winners of the £113,000+ prize fund.
Saving lives, igniting minds
Pulse AED took home the Ingenuity17 1st Prize of £5,000, as well as being crowned the overall winner.
Run by UoN Alumna Emma Hartley (Product Design, 2015), Pulse AED hopes to bring a brand new automated external defibrillator (AED) to the market within two years.
Inspired by a heart-breaking story of a friend passing away after suffering a cardiac arrest at just 21 years of age, Emma came up with Pulse AED to provide easy to use, lightweight and inexpensive – solving many of the problems associated with current AEDs on the market.
“It’s absolutely amazing. Being a part of and winning Ingenuity17 means that I can start developing the product and the electronics inside of it; and get market ready.
To anyone thinking of applying to Ingenuity18, I’d say definitely do it. Even if you don’t get to the Top 20 pitches, the Conference is invaluable as the connections you make with mentors and business is brilliant” – Emma Hartley (Director, Pulse AED)
Claiming the Ingenuity17 2nd Prize was Thorne Goalkeeping, run by Economics student Harry Boulton, who also made the Top 20 at Ingenuity16. The Ingenuity17 3rd Prize went to Nutri2Go, run by Alumna Jordana Chin (Nutrition, 2015), who is best known as “the girl on the trike”.
Potential to grow, potential to inspire
The Vice-Chancellor’s Entrepreneurial Potential Prize is worth £10,000, and is given each year to the Ingenuity17 Top 5 team that shows the most potential for growth.
Taking this prestigious prize this year was Hungry Panda, which was founded by Kelu Liu, who is in his final year studying Computer Science and Business Management, last year. It is an online food delivery platform providing tailored services to Chinese consumers.
Since their launch in August 2016, they have established a busy office at The Ingenuity Centre and expanded to five UK cities, a number that is set to grow over coming months.
When presenting the prize, Professor Sir David Greenaway quoted Samuel Beckett’s motivational words about overcoming obstacles, and is something we hope all entrepreneurs involved with Ingenuity17 can use his words to inspire them when meeting barriers to growth.
Supporting the next generation
A total of 34 prizes were given to the Ingenuity17 Top 21 at the Prize Giving Ceremony, and this would have not have been possible without the support and enthusiasm of our fantastic competition sponsors.
This year, we had some of the competition’s long-standing supporters sponsor prizes for the competition, including Shakespeare Martineau (SHMA), Potter Clarkson, BDO, Knowledge Exchange Asia (formerly Asia Business Centre), and UoN Careers and Employability Service.
Sponsors Potter Clarkson had a prize fund of £10,000, which was split between Thorne Goalkeeping (£6,000) and Pulse AED (£4,000).
“We are pleased to be at the heart of innovation which this well-organised and respected competition draws out. To be able to assist worthy winners make a commercial success of their invention is a great way to help both them and our community” – Deborah Maxwell (Associate, Potter Clarkson)
SHMA also sponsored £10,000 worth of prizes, split three ways between Pulse AED (£5,000), Walkin (£2,500), and Quensus (£2,500).
“We’ve been impressed by the quality of the concepts and thrilled by the spirit and passion of the people. It’s wonderful to see the next generation of entrepreneurs progressing and positively seeking out assistance through Ingenuity17.
If building businesses from the first idea to fruition and success is in your DNA, you’ll be knocked out by the quality of the opportunities and the encouragement tomorrow’s entrepreneurs receive. This competition is a major contribution to the future.” – Andy Raynor (Director, SHMA)
BDO provided prizes worth £10,000, were presented to Pulse AED (£5,000) and Winkworth & Chiu’s (£5,000).
“For the winners, it is a step forward to develop their business ideas and we are delighted at BDO to support them in this process.
Ingenuity17 is a unique opportunity for all entrants to experience first-hand some of the demands and knowledge requirements to become a successful entrepreneur” – Rick Wilson (Director, BDO)
We also had some new supporters, including University of Nottingham Innovation Park (UNIP), Paragon Law, and The Sainsburys Management Fellows (SMF).
The SMF Prizes were given to Bottle by Bottle (3rd), Quensus (2nd), and Pulse AED (1st). Demonstrating excellence in their field and with engineering backgrounds, these teams are all fantastic examples of the strength of the entrepreneurial spirit within the UoN Engineering community.
“SMF promotes and demonstrates the value of a combined business and engineering education to improve the performance of the UK economy and undertakes a wide range of strategic initiatives, many with professional, institutional and educational bodies, to achieve this goal.” – David Falzani (Director, Polaris Associates)
We look forward to continuing to work with our sponsors in the future, and hope to welcome many more as the competition grows!
This is your time
If you are a UoN student or alumni with a business idea, we would love to have you involved in Ingenuity18! Please register your interest for next year’s competition here.
If you have been inspired by this year’s competition, and feel you could add value to the entrepreneurs at The Ingenuity Lab and those involved in our competitions, we would love to have you involved as a mentor. Please register your interest here.