Santander UK announces winners of its annual awards competition for entrepreneurs

  • The winners have been announced for the Santander X UK Awards 2023, at a national final event at Unity Place in Milton Keynes. The winning businesses are disability app Snowball and Intotum, which designs stylish functional clothing for people with disabilities. 

  • The 12 finalists pitched to a panel of high-profile judges, including musician, presenter and investor Tinie Tempah, Dame Jess Ennis-Hill, Dragon’s Den star Sam Jones, alongside Santander’s CEO Mike Regnier and Chairman, William Vereker on 7 December. 

  • Santander has been running an annual entrepreneurship competition for 13 years and in this time has provided more than £900,000 in equity-free funding to hundreds of UK start-ups and small businesses. 

Santander announced the winners of the Santander X UK Awards 2023 at a national final event held in Unity Place, the bank’s new headquarters in Milton Keynes, on 7th December.  

The six winners, who were selected from 12 finalists who pitched in front of panels of high-profile judges at the event, are: 

Universities category 

1st place, £15,000: Intotum | Hanan Tantush | University of the Arts London | 1 in 5 people in the UK have a disability yet they are still largely excluded from the fashion industry. These people deserve a solution. Intotum, through collaboration with the disabled community, has created the UK’s first range of stylish functional clothing that works with your disability. More information:   

2nd place, £10,000: RREACT | Marcelo Lerendegui, Megan Morris and Kai Riemer | Imperial College London | Cancer care accounts for £5.81 billion, equating to 5.6% of the NHS budget. In the UK, approximately 55,400 people are diagnosed with breast cancer annually. Our contrast enhanced super-resolution ultrasound imaging (SRUS) technology assesses the tumour response as early as two weeks following the start of treatment.  

3rd place, £5,000: Natantis | Maiwenn Kersaudy-Kerhoas and Radhe Shantha Kumar | Heriot-Watt University | Natantis has developed a novel approach to the diagnosis of sepsis, a time-sensitive and life-threatening medical condition. We propose iSEP-SEQ, a cell-free circulating DNA (cfDNA) metagenomic sequencing workflow that is able to identify any pathogen at species level (e.g., viruses, bacteria, and uniquely, fungi and various parasites), directly from a 1-4 mL human blood sample. More information:  

Start-ups category 

1st place, £25,000: Snowball Community Ltd | Simon Sansome | Snowball is the ultimate disability app. Think TripAdvisor for the disabled community, you can add places, leave reviews and say of you will go back. Because the app is supported by Google Maps, anywhere in the world can be added and we have thousands of reviews. More information:  

2nd place, £15,000: Lambda Agri | Monica Saavedra | Today, the proportion of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) for plants, i.e. red light, is increased via artificial lighting - but electricity is costly. Lambda’s diffusive, red emitting spray paint for greenhouse sidings (panels) requires no electricity and can increase crop yields by circa 9%. More information:  

3rd place, £10,000: ACT Medical | Joseph Bentley | ACT Medical are looking to change the healthcare industry by developing a first-in-class bleeding management system, that is inserted into a wound and applies direct-internal-pressure to stop bleeding. Their International Medical James Dyson award winning innovation could save 300 lives/year, in the UK alone, providing £956M in monetary savings. More information:  

The six winners will also secure an automatic place in the Santander X Global Awards, the final of which will take place Barcelona in February 2024.  

Simon Sansome, CEO and founder of Snowball, said: “The Santander X Awards have been a really tough competition. It’s been months of work and the businesses we were up against were incredible. I’m so grateful that the judges saw what Snowball is and what it can become in the future. With the prize money we can now pay to take on staff in the new year and get them trained up to do Snowball Assessments across the UK.” 

Hanan Tantush, founder of Intotum, said: “I’m extremely proud and overwhelmed to have won the Santander X UK Awards. It means so much for me and Intotum, and will have such a positive impact in creating stylish, functional and adaptive clothing for the disabled community. The Awards have created a community of fellow entrepreneurs at the same stage in our journey, all able to help each other as we progress.”  

Tinie Tempah, musician, presenter and investor, said: “I’ve been investing in exciting new companies, including Sam Jones’ Gener8, for years now and there’s nothing like the thrill of discovering the next big idea and helping to give it the boost it needs. Judging the Santander X Awards was a great experience – the entrepreneurs delivered inspiring pitches and I know they’re all going to make an impact. The winners are some truly amazing businesses that have a chance to make a real difference in the world. I’ve learnt the founder and team are probably the most important factor in making a business investable, and these entrepreneurs really have what it takes to wow investors and get some proper momentum behind their ideas.”  

Mike Regnier, Santander UK CEO, said: “It has been an honour to judge this year’s Santander X Awards alongside an impressive panel of fellow judges with real expertise in entrepreneurship, and to hear from so many exciting entrepreneurs from a variety of backgrounds and with a truly inspiring range of businesses. All the finalists performed expertly, but the six winners delivered outstanding pitches and I look forward to watching their businesses go from strength to strength.” 

The Awards have long been regarded as one of the UK’s largest student and graduate business pitching competitions. To date, they have supported hundreds of early-stage entrepreneurs and provided more than £900,000 in equity-free funding to start-ups and small businesses. Traditionally a competition for university entrepreneurs, this year applications in the Start-ups category were extended to include all UK businesses.  



Notes to editors 

  1. The six winners are available for interview. Please register interest with the media contacts below. 

  1. More about the Santander X UK Awards: Santander X UK Awards 2023  

  1. More about the Santander X Global Award: Santander X Global Award 2023 


Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. At 30 June 2023, the bank had around 19,400 employees and serves around 14 million active customers, 7 million digital customers via a nationwide 445 branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the FCA and the PRA in the UK. Santander UK plc customers’ eligible deposits are protected by the FSCS in the UK. 

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful presence in 10 core markets in the Europe, North America and South America regions, and is one of the largest banks in the world by market capitalization. Santander aims to be the best open financial services platform providing services to individuals, SMEs, corporates, financial institutions and governments. The bank’s purpose is to help people and businesses prosper in a simple, personal and fair way. Santander is building a more responsible bank and has made a number of commitments to support this objective, including raising €220 billion in green financing between 2019 and 2030. At the end of the third quarter of 2023, Banco Santander had €1.3 trillion in total funds, 166 million customers, 8,700 branches and 212,000 employees. 


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