12 finalists of the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards announced 

Top prize of £25,000 up for grabs 

National final will take place in London in October 2017

The UK's most entrepreneurial students are unveiled today, each in for a chance to receive up to £25,000 worth of seed funding. Amongst the finalists of the seventh annual Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards may be the nation’s next big entrepreneurial success story.

The awards, which are one of the UK’s largest student and graduate business awards, support and encourage university students and recent graduates to pursue their business ideas by awarding the best and most forward thinking with cash prizes, mentoring and start-up support.

Since the awards were launched, Santander Universities has given away more than £260,000 in support for budding student entrepreneurs. This year the awards are divided into two categories: Pre-revenue winner and runner up, and Post-revenue winner and runner up1 with Pre and Post revenue winning prizes of £20,000 and £25,000 respectively.

The awards are set to be bigger and better than before with more events, support and prizes throughout such as an accelerator week which includes a series of masterclasses.

Twelve teams have been named as the finalists of the competition:

  • Green Sisters, Aston University
  • BellaMoon®, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Ostique, Brunel University
  • Jenny Evans Designs, Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • The Sustainable Clothing Company, University of Exeter
  • Hippo and Hedgehog, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • MET Medical, Hertfordshire University
  • Alcuris Ltd, Loughborough University
  • Bird Sunglasses, Plymouth University
  • KamAlive Chocolates, Queen Mary London University
  • Swipii Labs, University of Strathclyde
  • EquiPlus, Ulster University

The 12 businesses were selected from a shortlist of 60 semi-finalists, to progress to the final stage having pitched their business idea to a panel of experienced judges in one of the three regional heats that took place at the end of June, which saw Universities from the North, Central and South of UK alongside Northen Ireland compete for a place in the final.

The successful businesses have been invited to attend an accelerator week in July 2017, which will provide them with a unique educational experience led by a series of innovative businesses and speakers. During this week, the finalists will take part in a series of workshops and masterclasses aimed at helping them understand how to get the most from their business. Each of the businesses will also receive £1,000 of seed funding.

The 12 shortlisted teams will then take part in the national final, in London, in October 2017. Each team will deliver a ten minute presentation followed by a five minute Q&A session. The students will be competing to be one of four winning entries to win prizes of up to £25,000 of seed funding.

Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities UK commented: “At Santander we have made a long term commitment to support higher education and we are proud to take an active role in fostering entrepreneurship among university students. Young people are the business leaders of the future and universities play an important role in nurturing their talent. We cannot underestimate the importance of the nation’s budding entrepreneurs in our communities and at Santander we want to ensure we reward and encourage students to invest, innovate, create and be entrepreneurial.”

The Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards are supported by Talent Cupboard, Crowdfunder, UnLtd, Microsoft, and iProsect.

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Notes to Editors

  1. Pre-revenue category: This is definied as a business focussing on ideation, discovery and business validation with minimal sales generated (if any).
    Post-revenue category: This is defined as a business focusing on efficiency and sale with regular sales being generated.
  2. About The Finalists

    Green Sisters (Aston University)
    Green Sisters provide Gluten Free Vegetarian and Eggless food bursting with flavour, to boost your health and nourish you to fullness.

    BellaMoon® (Queen’s University Belfast)
    BellaMoon® is a unique co-sleeping and lateral breast-feeding product targeted at mothers and babies aged 0-12 months.

    Ostique (Brunel University)
    Ostique designs and develops new medical devices with innovative technical and aesthetic qualities. Their pioneering product is specifically for people with an abdominal stoma; namely colostomates.

    Jenny Evans Designs (Cardiff Metropolitan University)
    Jenny Evans is a multi-award winning textile Designer creating artwork using a combination of Stitch, watercolour and fabric. The pieces are designed to be beautiful, commercial, and scientifically accurate.

    The Sustainable Clothing Company (University of Exeter)
    The Sustainable Clothing Company is a Fair trade clothing and gifts boutique located in Exeter. They provide a carefully selected collection of leading and emerging ethical brands as well as a collection of local artisan products.

    Hippo and Hedgehog (Glasgow Caledonian University)
    Hippo & Hedgehog tailors African ingredients to the UK taste bud, promoting the vibrancy of Africa, through healthy, happy and helpful lives.

    Met Medical (University of Hertfordshire)
    MET Medical is a private ambulance company. They have gained registration with the CQC and provide ambulances, paramedics, nurses, doctors and student paramedics with our core services.

    Alcuris Ltd (Loughborogh University)
    Alcuris Limited is a new healthcare start-up. They are creating a range of products that are based on 'connected' technology around the emerging 'Internet of Things' (IOT) platform.

    Bird Sunglasses (Plymouth University)
    Bird is a purposeful sunglasses brand. They make pioneering, stylish sunglasses using high quality sustainable materials and for every pair sold, they distribute a solar light to families in Malawi, Zambia and Uganda through their Share Your Sun partnership with Solar Aid.

    KamAlive Chocolates (Queen Mary London University)
    KamAlive’s products aim to provide people with good food they can enjoy. Delicious chocolates inspired by their childhood favorites that are good for you, nourish the body and mind and leave you feeling amazing.

    Swipii Labs (University of Strathclyde)
    Swipii is the UK’s number one, Customer Loyalty, Marketing and CRM platform for small hyperlocal businesses. Built from scratch, it gives the power of digital loyalty programmes used by Tesco and Sainsbury's to small independent retailers at an affordable monthly cost.

    EquiPlus (Ulster University)
    EquiPlus designs products to help horses remain free from pain or discomfort, ensuring happy riders and happy, healthy horses.

  3. The Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards are supported by Talent Cupboard, Microsoft, Crowdfunder, UnLtd and iProsect.

    Talent Cupboard is an online platform that connects business with the best student and graduate digital talent.
    Crowdfunder.co.uk has worked with over 70,000 projects raising over £35m from the Crowd to make ideas happen.
    UnLtd is the leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs in the UK and offers the largest such network in the world.
    At Microsoft their mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.
    iProspect is the UK’s leading performance marketing agency. It creates and delivers innovative marketing programs for some of the world’s most successful brands helping them to stay ahead of the competition.

About Us

Santander Universities
Santander, through Santander Universities, tops the list of Fortune 500 in investment in education (Source: Varkey Report/UNESCO). The Bank has established partnerships with over 1,200 universities in 20 countries, of which 82 are in the UK. Through these agreements Santander promotes entrepreneurship, employability and internationalisation. For further information please visit: www.santander.co.uk/universities

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its innovative products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. At 31 December 2016, the bank serves around 14 million active customers with c20,000 employees and operates through 841 branches (which includes 60 university branches) and 67 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, headquartered in Spain, with a meaningful market share in 10 core countries in Europe and the Americas. It is among the world’s top banks by market capitalization. The bank’s purpose is to help people and businesses prosper, in a way that is simple, personal and fair. Founded in 1857, Santander had EUR 1.52 trillion in managed funds, 125 million customers, 12,200 branches and 188,000 employees at the close of 2016. Santander made attributable profit of EUR 6,204 million in 2016, an increase of 4% compared to the previous year.

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