These Nominees have been selected for the Best Student Start-up category. Each nominee is currently studying at one of the five partner Universities & the company has been incorporated during their time studying.
EarSoft - University of Bath
EarSoft (incorporated on the 29th of December 2010, (7479134)) has yet to start trading as the Automatic Mastering Algorithm is still in development. Although the incorporation of the company is recent, the product has been in development from my first year. The technology implemented doesn't use direct techniques from my degree (as I am studying physics not DSP), but required me to 'Think like a physicist'. New algorithms currently being developed by the EarSoft team use methods directly related to my degree, mainly the mathematics of statistical mechanics and the simulation of phase transitions.
The quality of the product in its current alpha form has impressed all that have heard it. This has lead to meetings with RED BEE (through Deloitte), and discussion with Steak Digital. These contacts and others to be gained will allow for an international outreach to be made from launch.
The current major milestones for EarSoft are the protection of its IP and the reaching of sales TRL within the next 18 months. Post this and the forecast sale of the product through major brands, the sustainability of the company will be ensured via continuous R&D with emphasis given to the creation of new products that enhance the (to be) current products, leading to higher sales.
SexEdMeds - University of Bristol
Gethin Lewis has been working on his business during his gap year. He is currently studying medicine at the University and his idea was inspired from a project he completed during his studies. They were asked to design an educational tool. The resulting product was well received by sexual health doctors.
He has spent the last year developing his idea further His company, SexEdMeds is sexual education by medics. He is working closely with ten other students in Bristol, UWE and Bristol College to develop a more modern approach to sexual education.
Gethin is a worthy candidate for Best Student Start-up due to what he has achieved over the past year. His work has been accredited by the NHS Bristol and by policy makers nationally. His first product will launch later this year after completion of the design process. The product will launch locally first, before going nationwide.
UniSportOnline - University of Exeter
UniSportOnline Limited (USO) is a sports media organisation that is increasing the media coverage of student sport across the UK. Our online magazine is 7 months old and is now working with the top 20 universities across the UK, providing a platform for student athletes to raise their profiles, as well as promoting young sports journalists and photographers.
Through our online magazine, unisportonline.co.uk, it is now possible to read all the latest news, match reports, view photos and videos from student sports across the UK, something that was not possible before we launched. We have also provided live updates at an international students rugby match, England vs France, and reported live from the national student championships, both of which have never been achieved before at student sport level within the UK. In a few weeks time we will complete another UK first, by live streaming a student cricket match onto unisportonline.co.uk.
There is now a team of six student working on UniSportOnline in a number of different roles, ranging from website developing to Head of Marketing respectively. Many of our team are using USO as work experience placements to gain credits for certain university modules.
With the ever changing media landscape and a number of iconic youth brands struggling to understand their student market, our team has been building links with a number of national and international companies to help develop a number of exciting new projects.
Alistair Sheppard - University of Southampton
Alistair Sheppard is a 4th year Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Southampton. During his final year, Alistair and four other students worked on a group design project to create a new type of sustainable energy product.
Through the project, Alistair and his team members created a commercially viable product that uses motion to create energy. The product is targeted to the shipping industry, with current focus on the pleasure craft market.
The University of Southampton quickly identified this project as having mileage as a potential commercial venture, and with the support of the Research & Innovation department, Alistair and his business partner Doug decided to take the project forward as a business.
It is rare for the University to see such a high calibre business concept as an undergraduate idea and so this project has gained support from leading academics and large businesses to the development of the product.
Alistair is now at a stage of finalising the proto-type to lodge the first patent of the new technology. Once protected, Alistair will begin to develop the business side.
GuitarLessonLounge - University of Surrey
Guitar Lesson Lounge Ltd. was founded earlier this year with the ambition to create the best video guitar lessons online.
With videos, PDFs, backing tracks and more, we believe we are well on our way to creating the very best learning experience available for aspiring guitarists. We pride ourselves in the fusion of extremely high quality, yet casual and fun content we maintain. This notably means young, passionate guitar teachers filmed in a highly controlled studio environment.
In a just a few months since the initial seed funding from Research and Enterprise Support, we've arguably made some pretty phenomenal progress. We now run a fully automated internet business, with over 100 000 views on Youtube, nearly 400 members, and clients on 4 continents, creating a small, yet global tribe.
We've generated a positive cash flow for the first time last month and we're developing a new product that you'll get a sneak peak of in the video.
In addition, we've gained substantial knowledge in eMarketing: from strategy to search engine optimisation, split testing social media strategies and more, enabling us to grow at an exponential rate.
We're seeing some exciting growth, both in web traffic and in sales, and though we've still got a way to go before being the clear market leader in online guitar education, the results are promising and the business is gaining in profitability.