What's the Big Idea? 18/19
Steel Straws, STEM Boxes, Bio Wellies and insulating solar slates - just some of the extremely innovative and creative ideas that our judges had the pleasure of judging at this year's What's the Big Idea 2018 Awards. Now in its tenth year, the competition has become bigger and better, with more awards and prize money than ever before. This year’s competition saw over 60 applicants whittled down to 11 winners walking away with a combined prize pot of £2,800. The two big prizes of the day ‘Best Overall Business Idea’ Award and 'Most Innovative Business Idea', sponsored by Ormeau Business Park, along with £500 were awarded to the Bio Boot team for their idea helping increase safety on farms and in areas of biohazard and Patrick Swaile and his team for their innovative idea 'Aid First'.
Invent Competition 2018
INVENT challenges inventors, entrepreneurs, scientists and startups with proof-of-concepts and prototypes in science and technology to discover the commercial potential of their idea. Entrants compete through rounds of pitching assessed by expert judges to win a share of a £33,000 prize fund, access to a global network and a place on the NI Tech Mission to California.
Students have been working tirelessly throughout the year on prototypes, pitches and business plans to ensure that their ideas are developed to the stage where they can be presented to judges. Two QUB teams made it to finals this year!
Congratulations to QUB student businesses Machine Eye and Sea Beacon who pitched at the Final of the Invent competion in the Waterfront Hall on Thursday 11th October 2018!
Machine Eye won the Electronics Category with their intelligent safety solution securing themselves a £3,500 prize.
QUB Dragons’ Den 2018
QUB Dragons’ Den came to an electrifying end in May. Mandela Hall was transformed to create a Dragons’ Den, similar to the real BBC Dragons’ Den, and finalists entered the Den to pitch their business idea to a panel of business experts.
Almost 80 students applied to the competition, all aiming to pick-up a share of the £10,000 investment pot, with ideas that would change the way we camp, order drinks at a restaurant or even learn how to play the guitar. Entries for the competition were from both undergraduate and post-graduate students studying a diverse range of subjects at the University.
Following an initial shortlist of 22 business ideas to the ‘Quick Pitch’ stage, 12 finalists were then selected to pitch to The Dragons, a panel of business experts including David Bradshaw, Client Executive, Invest Northern Ireland; John McKee, Chief Executive, Linkubator; Grant Edwards, Associate Director, Tughans; Catherine Martin, Partner, CavanaghKelly and Denise Murtagh, Business Development Manager, Dungannon Enterprise Center.
In the final the Dragons faced a tough decision, as the standard was so high they decided to split the money between 3 winners… Machine Eye, Hindsight and Flate who walked away with £2,500 each!
Inspiring the next generation of budding female entrepreneurs… 22 female students completed the Annual Queen’s Students’ Union’s ‘Innovateher’ programme.
Innovateher, which is now celebrating its 7th year in existence, encourages female students to think entrepreneurially and come up with business ideas they think could be successful. These could be a new product, a new service or even a new market for an existing product or service. Enterprise SU received over 50 applications from students from a diverse range of departments across the University.
After a number workshops to develop their skills and knowledge of business in areas including Marketing, Financials and Pitching, the participants presented their business idea to a panel of influential business women with £1,200 being distributed to the top pitch, best idea, best business model canvas and best use of technology.
In August 2018, thanks to the funding from Santander Universities, Enterprise SU brought 6 Queen's University Belfast students to San Francisco. They engaged in an immersive learning experience, gaining exposure to the sights and sounds of Silicon Valley through the University of San Francisco Silicon Valley Immersion Programme, as well as getting the opportunity to visit Stamford’s D-School. Students also met a host of different VCs, startups and ofcourse, a go to visit the infamous Google Offices of San Francisco.