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Entrepreneurs share £75,000 prize money at Venture Further Awards

06 May 2022

After a two-year hiatus, the Venture Further Awards were held live in the Whitworth Hall on Wednesday, 4 May

Venture Further Awards 2022

Streamed live, the 2022 Venture Further start-up competition winners were announced, celebrating the entrepreneurial talent and creativity from students and recent graduates.

The evening kicked off with a video celebrating the last 19 years of Venture Further and the success of the entrepreneurs who commenced their journeys with the competition. Those in the audience heard from the very first competition winner, Wai Lau who won in 2003 with Information Prophets. The video also featured other successful start-ups such as Mishipay and Bundlee, alongside a variety of entrepreneurs who have gone on to secure millions in investment, giving the night’s awardees an exciting future to look forward to.

Hosted by Registrar, Secretary and COO Patrick Hackett, the evening saw 15 teams of entrepreneurs receive a share of a £75,000 cash prize fund to help take their start-ups to the next level. Patrick commented: “The Venture Further Awards are a very visible manifestation of our University’s deep and abiding commitment – some would say it’s in our DNA and contributes to what makes us truly distinctive – to innovation through enterprise and entrepreneurship.”

Joined by previous Venture Further winner Mohammad El Hajj Founder and CEO of Bright Biotech, the evening was a celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Lynn Sheppard, Director of the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre, said: “The annual Venture Further competition is an opportunity for our students and early stage graduates to pitch their start-up ideas and win a significant cash injection to help realise their business goals.”

25 teams reached the final round, across five categories – Environmental, Healthcare, Services, Social and Technology – five teams competed for the top cash prize of £10,000. Second place winners were awarded £3,000 and third place £2,000.

This year’s winners of £10,000 are:

Environmental category: Urban Panel

A building material manufacturer and building contractor who are seeking to streamline the construction industry.

  • Steve Philip, MEng Civil and Structural Engineering, School of Engineering

Healthcare category: Organoid Solutions Ltd

A biotech start-up rebuilding fat tissue by utilising an artificial blood capillary network, for women that have undergone complete mastectomies due to invasive breast cancer.

  • Chrisoula Chappell, PhD Materials, School of Natural Sciences
  • Dominic Williams, PhD Materials, School of Natural Sciences

Services category: Manchester Students’ Group

An online platform enabling instant communication and sharing with the student community, providing a tool for them to find themselves by finding the right things to do and the right people to do them with.

  • Farris Ramzy, LLM Healthcare Ethics and Law, School of Social Sciences (Class of 2019)

Social category: Alternative Football

Providing the first inclusive, adult women’s and non-binary football league in the North of England, creating an atmosphere that each individual is comfortable with, regardless of skill, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or financial background.

  • Bethany Barnes, PhD Cellular Biology, School of Biological Sciences

Technology category: Praeferre Ltd

Praeferre is strengthening privacy management with blockchain. The Praeferre SaaS platform provides individuals with a single point of control for data privacy and customer rewards across all their digital touch points.

  • Abhishek Ghosh, MBA, Alliance Manchester Business School (Alumni Class of 2019)

Organiser of the Venture Further Competition and Enterprise Business Development Executive at the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre, Ellie Buckley, said: “It’s been wonderful to celebrate our finalists in person. The standard and quality of business proposals submitted were impeccable. 

"As we saw in the celebration video, Venture Further is a springboard for success, giving student and graduate founders that vital support required to start their business. We look forward to supporting all the winners in furthering their start-ups and making them a success.

"This is just the beginning for our finalists. There are exciting things to come, so watch this space.”

If you missed the live stream of the awards evening, you can watch a recording.

Venture Further 2022 was supported by: IBM and Slalom