In early 2017 SEPnet invited students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, from the network to submit teams for the SEPnet Enterprising Ideas competition. We were looking for teams who bring fresh ideas, innovative thinking and who have great team working skills that businesses increasingly need.
The idea of the programme was to engender new skills in the students: a fresh perspective on how their skills and knowledge can be applied; understanding more about entrepreneurship and what it means to have an entrepreneurial mindset; and to develop real insights into business, innovation, enterprise and team workings.
The programme would last throughout 2017 with teams undertaking training in June led by Elaine Hickmott of EH-Enterprises who tailored the programme specifically for Physics students in SEPnet. They were then asked to submit their ideas via a short video by September. This was followed by submitting detailed market research and their business case, leading up to a “Dragon’s Den” format presentation to a panel of Business people at the GRADnet Winter School in February.
Unfortunately along the way, some teams dropped out due to research and studying commitments. However they gained valuable experience from the intensive training provided.
Three teams made it through the grueling process and reached the finals:
- VR-Teach – a Physics VR Simulator from a team from the University of Kent
- MQMobile – monitoring lab equipment, from the University of Southampton
- “Conker” monitoring for concussion in sporting and other accidents, from Royal Holloway
|The team from Kent||The team from RHUL||The team from Southampton|
The panel of judges (Bob Pickles of Canon UK, Simon Bland of Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and Phil Edwards of Weald Technology) was extremely impressed with all three finalists and by the quality, credibility and potential of the ideas being showcased. It was a tough call. However, they chose “Conker” from RHUL as the winning entry.
|The winners collect their certificates||The runners up collect theirs.|
Congratulations to all the teams for not just demonstrating great technical ideas, but also how to ensure they solved real problems and what was needed for commercial success. Congratulations to the team from RHUL for winning.