October 28, 2022, by aczjb1
Witty Scholar Ben makes it to the final of the Engineers in Business Innovation competition
Twenty-two-year-old Ben Keeble, an Engineering graduate, Ingenuity Lab member and Witty Entrepreneurial Scholar, has secured a place in the final of the Engineers in Business Champion of Champions innovation competition.
Ben, who invented Mobiliaid, a portable, battery-powered seat raiser for the elderly and people with disabilities, will be pitching his innovation against nine other teams of student and graduate innovators in the national final. A sum of £15,000 is up for grabs, providing vital seed money to help the winners develop their innovation. The winners will also receive mentoring from business leaders who are members of the Sainsbury Management Fellows (SMF) network, plus CV packages from PurpleCV and entrepreneurial books from Cambridge University Press.
The competition is organised by the registered charity, Engineers in Business Fellowship which champions business education for engineers and supports universities by giving them grants to award prizes to engineering students who develop ideas that can make a positive impact on society. The grants enable universities to inspire more engineering and technology students to participate in innovation and entrepreneurship, skills that they take into their careers.
Mobiliaid acts as a mobile seat raiser, lifting the person from a seated position or gently lowering them from standing, and can also rotate, if used in a car for example. The product is battery powered, can easily be carried via the integral handle in the cover and provides a stable base even on soft seating. By using this product, someone with sitting and standing difficulties, is able to travel outside their adapted home to visit friends and family.
Ben has been developing his business for a number of years with the help of his mentors on the Witty Entrepreneurial Scholarship and the Ingenuity Programme. He entered the Ingenuity Programme for the second time in 2022, and was awarded the East Midlands Champion prize for his idea.
Explaining the concept behind Mobiliaid, founder and CEO, Ben said, “I had the idea when my grandfather was unable to visit us due to his difficulties getting out of the car, and then sitting down and getting up from the chair in our house. Although he uses a seat raiser at home, there was nothing suitable that he could use outside his home which affected his social life. This had a detrimental effect on both his mental and physical health, causing him to feel isolated and lonely, so I decided to try to solve the problem.
“Mobiliaid can be carried from place to place and can be quickly set up on most types of seating. It acts as a mobile seat raiser, lifting the person from a seated position or gently lowering them from standing. The product is battery powered, can easily be carried via the integral handle in the cover and provides a stable base even on soft seating.
“By using Mobiliaid, someone with sitting and standing difficulties can travel outside their adapted home to visit family and friends. This increased ability to socialise, reduces mental and physical health problems and improves their quality of life. I’m pleased to say that we are currently going through final prototyping of the product.”
The Engineers in Business competition is designed to inspire engineers to study business and innovation, which Ben feels is vital for innovations that change the world. Ben said, “It’s important for engineering students to be taught business skills because business and innovation require a completely different mindset to the one required for engineering.”
Watch Ben and the finalists pitch to become a Champion of Champions Live on YouTube – 28 October 2022 at 4.00pm
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