Best Graduate Start-Up
ModMyPi (University of Exeter)
ModMyPi was launched in March 2012 in response to the high levels and interest and demand for the Raspberry Pi minicomputer.
The aim of ModMyPi was to design and manufacture a case solution for the Raspberry Pi, using 3D printing technology to produce the ordered cases.
On launching the site, the demand for the cases was so high that it became immediately apparent that the business needed to scale up significantly. This required a change in production method to injection moulding and the development of a robust operational and fulfilment system.
Fortunately the Raspberry Pi users had become accustomed to paying for products in advance and waiting for delivery. This meant ModMyPi had sufficient cash to fund the up-scaling activity.
The success of the case product and our active involvement in Raspberry Pi forums and blogs attracted a lot of interest and we were able to capitalise on this by selling IT peripherals to support the use of the Raspberry Pi.
Using a grant from the University of Exeter we are currently developing the 2nd version of the case which we aim to take to market soon.
ModMyPi turned over almost £1M in year 1 with £100,000 profit.
Best Social Enterprise Project
Elephant Branded (Univeristy of Bath)
After working in Africa and Asia, James was shocked by the basic lack of school equipment, inspired to make a change he set up Elephant Branded which works with local villagers to make hand made products from recycled materials, giving them a way out of poverty and for every item sold a school kit is donated back to a child in the community.
We currently work with 75 ladies in Cambodia. Sales are online, across 24 Universities, in Germany through FAB as well as nation wide in John Lewis.
Elephant Branded has supplied Google with delegate bags and is a winner of Google’s world competition for enterprise. EB is also one of SMARTAs “Top 3 UK social Business” as well as one of Start Up UKs “Top 20 UK Start Up business of 2012”
Working with some of the largest charities in Africa, EB has donated thousands of School kits this year to 8 different countries. With production operations in 4 countries we have helped 107 people out of poverty through our ethical manufacture programs.
The University has been very supportive and the Pop up stall in Spitalfields was very useful in helping us talk with potential consumers.
Best Student Enterprise Experience
Basecamp (University of Bristol)
Basecamp's run by students for students (supported by Research, Enterprise & Development Division) at the University of Bristol.
Recent graduates Sam, Will and Shaun have done wonders to support student enterprise.
Firstly, they organised a practical masterclass series run by outside professionals for student entrepreneurs. Naming the series 'Monday Means Business', it included sixteen weekly workshops from professionals, covering everything from developing business ideas to selling. 12-15 entrepreneurs came each week, but concerned that some couldn't make every session, they partnered with University of Bristol's student media company to record summary videos of every session – creating their own Basecamp YouTube channel.
They also ran weekly one-to-one business surgeries every Wednesday, which enabled student entrepreneurs to get free in-depth advice from those in the know. A host of companies came in to talk to 4/5 students each week on topics such as marketing, branding, accountancy, legal and pitching.
Basecamp have provided support to almost 100 student businesses at University of Bristol. The team are now handing over these activities to two of the entrepreneurs that they've supported so they can run it next year. Basecamp’s office space has enabled students to share experiences and is encouraging a fantastic entrepreneurial culture!
Best Student Start-Up
Young Ones (University of Exeter)
Young Ones was started in response to the “onesie” craze which took off in 2010. The leading brands were charging enormous prices for their products and there was an opportunity in the market for a new, similar quality but lower priced entrant.
Originally sourced using the Ali Baba website, Young Ones worked with international suppliers to develop products which were initially aimed at University Ski clubs. Offering custom colours, logos and printing Young Ones has been able to grow across over 20 Universities in the UK supplying onsies in a range of colours and sizes to groups and individuals. We now employ commission based brand reps on campuses
We have also been successful in making sales in US Universities and aim to expand further this year
The core of the Young Ones business model is the ability to quickly spot trending fashions and source high quality but lower priced alternatives.
We are currently working on a range of summer products which follow this model and the aim is to establish a disruptive brand which is attracts sufficient followers to allow us to begin to lead trends.
To date we have turned over approximately £120K with profit of £50K.
People’s Choice Award 2013
AmpiSolutions (University of Surrey)
Major damage to the arms and legs of people around the UK and the world happens every day. From farmers, to butchers, to mechanics and soldiers, the risk of an amputated or crushed limb is ever present and ever occurring.
AmpiSolutions Ltd is a new and innovative company researching and developing ways of improving pre-hospital emergency care in the UK and worldwide. Our product, the AmpiWrap, is specifically designed to treat damaged limbs and will aid in saving limbs and lives. Ampiwrap provides improved haemorrhage control, limb support and secondary infection in a unique ‘all-in-one’ product, helping to standardise the treatment of injured limbs. It is the first of its kind for addressing all three clinical demands, and there are no similar products currently available from competitors.
Ampiwrap is presently undergoing development and a patent has been applied for to protect the intellectual property rights. Investment or further funding is being sought. So far AmpiSolutions has received funding of £5000 for prototyping, via a university funded scheme, and also from the Manufacturing Advisory service.
Routes to market are currently being explored, including licensing and partnerships, also self production/distribution. Potential customers include armed forces, NHS, Aid organisations and retailers.
The winner in this category was selected by attendees of the event from all the start-up entrants.