Scholar startups go head-to-head in flagship entrepreneurship competitors | Imperial Information


Imperial students will turn their ideas into new technologies, products and companies in the Venture Catalyst Challenge.

The Venture Catalyst Challenge (VCC) is Imperial College London’s flagship for students and alumni to come up with an innovative idea for commercialization.

The challenge, run by Imperial Enterprise Lab, provides access to seven intense weeks of master classes, coaching, and meetings with experts, all aimed at helping students and alumni turn their idea into commercial reality while sharing their knowledge, skills, and theirs Network to expand.

Past winners have founded successful companies, including 2019 winners, VUI Diagnostics, developing technology that enables simple, affordable, and accurate imaging of the retina to help combat preventable blindness around the world.

This year’s competition, which started last week, has 25 teams competing for a share of the £ 70,000 prize fund.

The VCC consists of five tracks:

  • AI & Robotics – sponsored by Huawei
  • Creative & Consumer – sponsored by Huawei
  • Digital & Fintech – sponsored by Citi and the Center for Financial Technology at Imperial College Business School
  • Energy & Environment – sponsored by Grosvenor
  • Health & Wellbeing – Sponsored by Santander Universities

In the final of the competition, which will take place on March 25, 2021, the winners of each course will submit their ideas to industry-leading judges for the overall winner.

Teams taking part in this year’s competition include OnLadder, an alternative financing option for homebuyers, Algreen, who are developing a biodegradable alternative to plastic labels, Stablspoon, a self-stabilizing spoon for people with hand tremors, Mattalabs, which are developing a self-learn that 3D printer network and aqUasieVe, a portable water filter.

This year, 20% of the teams in the previous cohort were part of WE Innovate, the college’s entrepreneurship program designed to inspire and accelerate the progress of entrepreneurs who identify as women.

Plastic alternative success

Last year’s Venture Catalyst Challenge winners, The Shellworks, developed a plastic alternative made from seafood waste that breaks down in any natural setting, allowing consumers to dispose of their waste with confidence. The team won the £ 30,000 grand prize after battling four other startups in the first all-digital final of the competition.

Seafood jars

The main sponsor for this year’s competition is Huawei. Huawei Vice President Victor Zhang said, “This year’s VCC competition underscores the entrepreneurship of Imperial’s student teams. As advocates of innovation and research and development, we are honored to play our role in taking these inspiring team projects to the commercial level so they can become the next generation of technology leaders. We wish all teams the best of luck for the upcoming Grand Final. ”

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