Venture Further 2020 is an incredible initiative by the University of Manchester that Vita Student were proud to be involved in this year.
Venture Further is ran by the Masood Enterprise Centre at the Alliance Manchester Business School and is an annual business start-up competition. All current students, researchers and recent alumni across The University of Manchester are eligible to enter and the prize fund is an incredible £75,000 to kick-start their own entrepreneurial journey. Pretty incredible to say the least!
This year was a little different to previous years though as the final stages of the initiative were during the lockdown due to the global coronavirus pandemic. That meant that the live presentation event couldn't be held in person so instead, the winners were announced during the first ever online awards ceremony . Hosted by serial-entrepreneur and philanthropist Vikas Shah MBE, 10 teams of entrepreneurs were awarded a share of a £75,000 cash prize fund to help take their start-ups to the next level.
Joined by previous Venture Further winner Scott Martin, founder and CEO of Recourse AI and distinguished guest speaker, Andy Stanford-Clark, IBM’s CTO for the UK and Ireland, the evening was a celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship at The University of Manchester.
Attracting more than 100 entries, 20 business proposals reached the final round. In each of the four categories – Business, Creative, Environmental, Social and Technology – four teams competed for the top cash prize of £12,000. The runners up in each category also received a £3,000 prize.
This year’s winners were:
Business category: Spice Story
An authentic and sustainable food brand, using traditional cooking methods to provide meat-free frozen Indian ready meals.
Creative category: Blue Shoes Productions Ltd
A socially responsible production company creating audio and visual content based on underrepresented voices in society.
Environmental category: Hai
Hai makes potato growers' potential a reality, reducing harvest losses while identifying the root of the problem. Providing accurate insight on harvest timing to maximise profit and avoid losses.
Social category: Tatu Nurse
Focusing on the least developed African countries who face a critical shortage of nurses, Tatu Nurse is a non-profit initiative that builds technologies to make nurses smarter so they can save more lives.
Technology category: Stressless
Making neuroscience-powered smartphone games for stress relief; ones where the longer you play, the more relaxed you become.