Student start-up talent was celebrated at the University’s third annual Southampton Dragon’s Den competition, where a smart academic search platform and a Japanese learning app secured £50,000 of investment.
Six start-up schemes pitched in front of a live audience on Saturday 13 May. The event, run by the University’s Future Worlds start-up incubator and the Fish on Toast and ECS Entrepreneurs student societies, offered a snapshot of a mounting entrepreneurial culture, with record numbers of attendees hoping to follow the fortunes of the promising student businesses.
Computer science, geography and acoustical engineering students Maciej Szpakowski, Przemek Zientala and Mauro Cozzi Gasparotti led with a confident pitch for FuseMind, an online academic search tool, and were offered £30,000 of investment from alumnus and Apple Europe Director Chris Broad (BSc Electronic Engineering, 1984) and confetti.co.uk co-founder and alumnus Andrew Doe (BSc Electronic Engineering, 1986).
Web scientist Travis Ralph-Donaldson also secured £20,000 of investment for Handy Kanji, a language learning app that uses intelligent stroke recognition and scoring algorithms to teach the Japanese writing system.
Other entrants included computer science student Varun Gupta with his ‘All in’ information-sharing app, PhD students Daniel Martinho-Corbishley and Jamie Lomeli with their Aura Vision Labs start-up, mechanical engineering student Landon Vago-Hughes with events app Igglu and international relations student Andreas Ostrovsky-Pereira with social enterprise Sagar Energy Solutions.
For more information about wider student enterprise opportunities at the University, visit the dedicated entrepreneurship section of the Careers and Employability Service website.