Manchester’s Entrepreneurial Student Spirit Hailed at Venture Further Awards

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EIGHT Manchester entrepreneurs have been awarded a slice of a £50,000 cash prize through Manchester Enterprise Centre’s Venture Further competition, to help take their start-ups to the next level.

Students, researchers and recent alumni from the University of Manchester, were invited to submit their business proposals to a judging panel of made of leading figures from the worlds of business, science and industry. The competition was co-sponsored, and judged, by Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP); laboratory instrument and software manufacturer, Waters Corporation; and engineering group, Jacobs.

Of 16 finalists, four winners were selected across the business, research, digital and social categories, each winning £10,000. Runners up in each category also received a cash injection of £2,500 for their businesses.

MSP sponsored and judged the digital category, and head of innovation and partnerships, Anne Dornan, was impressed by the calibre of entrants: “Manchester’s student population has a rich history of turning innovative ideas to commercial success and the quality of entrants in this year’s Venture Further competition leave me confident that this trend is only going to continue. I'd like to congratulate the winner of this year’s digital award, Rishabh Jindal for Otterly. I’m sure that with the injection of cash, and the equally valuable connections which the finalists have established during the course of the programme, they will be a resounding success.”

A total of 73 entries were submitted to this year’s awards programme and the winners were:

Martin Henery, Venture Competition Director at the Manchester Enterprise Centre, added: “Our economy is changing at a staggering rate, and more people than ever are embracing their entrepreneurial spirit and looking to set up their own business. It is so important that we are able to nurture this talent to give these budding entrepreneurs the best possible chance to thrive in the constantly-changing business environment. Regardless of whether they win, Venture Further finalists are put through their paces explaining how they intend to develop and grow a successful, sustainable business to a panel of business and commercialisation experts.

“We were incredibly impressed with the standard of entries from all our finalists this year and we’re confident that, like the many Venture Further finalists before them, this year’s winners will go on to make great achievements through their highly successful ventures.”

For more information, visit: www.manchester.ac.uk/venturefurther