September 12, 2023, by lizvw
Ingenuity Programme Celebrates 2023 Impact Entrepreneurs
Ingenuity is a national innovation programme supporting students, graduates and community members, particularly those from underserved and underrepresented groups to engage, develop ideas for change and turn ideas for change into exciting new ventures in 3 areas: improving health, building stronger communities and tackling climate change. It adopts an agile and flexible approach to ensure it is inclusive, diverse and accessible.
Among the winners of this year’s programme were University of Nottingham Impact Entrepreneur of the Year, Jared Spencer, for his allergen-free snack company RIDDIM and Loughborough University alumnus Katie Michaels, who won the Health Champion Award for developing a physiotherapy product for children with disabilities, inspired by seeing her young cousin’s struggles with cerebral palsy. Overall Ingenuity Impact Entrepreneur of the Year was Richard Holmes from York St John University, whose Global Anthem social enterprise makes flashcards to help refugees overcome language barriers.
“Winning Health Champion is amazing,” said Katie, founder of Moti Me. “It’s going to help us get the prototype to that next stage as we approach mass manufacture. We’re also looking into the development of the app, which will be completely game changing and help us take the business to the next level.”
The main programme of skills and training began in January 2023, with a bespoke online course to help participants turn their initial ideas into viable, sustainable businesses. The Skills Hub platform provided a step-by-step process for participants to develop their idea and build a business plan, with other opportunities to access bespoke advice and guidance, through 1:1 mentoring sessions and a series of drop-in sessions with industry and academic experts.
Other top winners included Andrew Raslan with Pipeline Organics and Emma Redfern with Studio Self-Made. East Midlands Champions also included Paul McCreery with FUNKI DRINKS and Manaav Patel with Snazzybird.
“I’m unbelievably grateful,” said overall winner Richard Holmes, founder of Global Anthem. “The mentoring, the support, the whole Programme has really taken me from, genuinely a really rough working idea, into a real, viable business that can be delivered.”
After in-person regional pitching days, 17 teams were shortlisted to take part in the 2023 National Ingenuity Programme Competition and pitch for their share of the £75,000 funding pot. They received further mentoring, and each delivered a 10-minute pitch to a panel of impact investors, Ingenuity partners and sector influencers.
The Programme culminated in the Ingenuity Impact Event in June 2023, where this year’s winners were announced. The following day, the Ingenuity Programme was a central part of the University of Nottingham’s Power of Partnership conference, where the Ingenuity exhibition zone provided the Class of 2023 with the opportunity to showcase their products, services and programmes and network with prospective clients, partners, investors and supporters.
“I’m so grateful for the Ingenuity Programme and all the support they’ve given me,” said Jared Spencer, University of Nottingham Impact Entrepreneur of the Year.
“Being able to be connected with so many different mentors really improved my understand of my supply chain and the environmental aspects of production – really important lessons I’m going to take with me beyond the programme.”
“We have continued to demonstrate our commitment to supporting under-represented groups, with 51% of our participants on the 2023 programme being female, 15% with a disability or long-term health condition, and 56% from a BAME background,” said Ingenuity Programme Director, Claire Mulholland.
“The support we’ve been able to give this year’s cohort would not have been possible without the invaluable contributions from our academics, Entrepreneurs in Residence and Ingenuity partners. Thank you to all those involved in driving forward our mission of civic entrepreneurship.”
Interested in finding out more about the Ingenuity Programme and getting involved in the next cohort? Please visit https://ingenuityimpact.org/ for further information and to register for the programme.
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