The entrepreneurial successes of University of Edinburgh staff, students and alumni were celebrated recently at the annual Inspire Launch Grow 2016 Awards.
Organised by Edinburgh Research & Innovation (ERI), the commercialisation arm of the University of Edinburgh, through its LAUNCH.ed student entrepreneur programme, the Inspire Launch Grow Awards recognised the exceptional entrepreneurial talent within the University and those who have started to develop their own business or have identified commercial applications for their research.
Twelve finalists shortlisted for this year’s final worked for three months to develop their propositions and pitches for this final showcase event.
The Innovation Cup category is open to entrants with research or technology-based high-growth business ideas, while the Enterprise Award is geared towards those who have an idea or existing venture with outstanding commercial potential.
MicroSpray Technology founder Dr Salman Malik, an RSE Enterprise Fellow, won the Innovation Cup award. Salman’s mission is to revolutionize particle manufacturing for pharmaceutical industries using an innovative, simple and cost-effective spray technology.
Innovation Cup runners-up prizes were awarded to School of Biology students Paolo Marangio & Douglas Martin who have co-founded MiAlgae, which aims to revolutionize the current livestock feed industry by producing microalgae as a nutrient substitute for ﬁshmeal in livestock feeds.
The other runner-up was Business School student Joseph McElmeel for his company SymbaSync, which is the Match.com for jobs, improves hiring and reduces turnover costs by allowing organizations and prospects to weight and rank key preferences.
Business School student Jade Saab stole first place in the Enterprise Award with his company Muscle Cake, a subscription based high protein brownie which is designed to ﬁt through the letterbox for customers to receive on predeﬁned dates.
Enterprise Award runners-up prizes were awarded to Chris Palmer a student of GeoSciences for his work on TravelHUB, a web-based system that helps organisations optimise their business travel and puts sustainability at the heart of decision-making.
The other runner-up was School of Social and Political Science student James Turing, along with Alasdair Nielson, for their project SolarBerry, a self-ﬁnancing, community-owned offline and off-grid computer lab powered by solar energy with energy-efficient Raspberry Pi computers.
Winners of both awards received £5,000 prize money to further their business venture, while the runners-up each received £1,000 towards developing their business.
Spin-out of the Year
In addition, Edinburgh Research & Innovation introduce a new award for ‘Spin-out of the Year’, which was made to Particle Analytics and CEO Carlos Labra. The award recognised the achievements of outstanding success by a University spin-out company.
Tom Ogilvie, ERI's Enterprise Development Manager - Staff, said;
"Particle Analytics have made significant progress in developing their technology since they launched in Feb 2015. Particle Analytics has now established itself as a disruptive technology, delivering significant efficiencies and business improvements to multi-national organisations that handle large volumes of particulate solids, such as the grain in combine harvesters, or the manufacturers of asphalt for roads. The company have not only been able to validate their unique visualisation software but importantly have secured strong commitments from a number of multi-national partners demonstrating the huge market potential."
The spirit of the enterprise development work at Edinburgh Research & Innovation was featured in a 5-minute film highlighting the motivations and success of three entrepreneurs:
The Innovation Cup is an annual business competition for all academic staff, students and alumni (up to two years after graduation) of the University of Edinburgh, with research or technology-based business ideas that are particularly innovative. Applicants must intend to build a business in Scotland within the next 12 months, OR within 12 months of their graduation. The winner receives £5,000 cash towards their business. Two runners up will receive £1,000 towards developing their business.
The Enterprise Award is a business competition for all academic staff, students and alumni (up to two years after graduation) of the University of Edinburgh, who have ideas or ventures with outstanding commercial potential. The winner will receive a £5,000 prize with two runners up prizes of £1,000.