Published: 1 June 2022 at 11:43
Anglia Ruskin University annual innovation competition makes ideas become reality
A project to combat drowsiness among truck drivers, and software to recommend the most suitable personal safety app were among the student winners of thousands of pounds in cash and business support at The Big Pitch 2022 Grand Final.
The annual Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) competition encourages students from across the university to come up with an innovative project, develop and pitch it, and potentially win seed funding to help them make that idea a reality. This year’s final was the first held in person since before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Six student business ideas made it all the way to the final, held at ARU’s Cambridge campus, where they had the chance to pitch their ideas to a judging panel made up of successful businesspeople and entrepreneurs.
Students Asima Rafique, Enrico Iraldo and Joseph Ashton’s company Exelerex, won £4,000 in prize money and an additional £3,000 Engineers in Business Award for their project to create truck safety devices. With drowsiness a major issue in the haulage industry, the students proposed retrofittable safety devices that monitor alertness in drivers using brain signals and infrared cameras. The company also received six months’ free office space at ARU’s Arise Innovation Hub, and a one-year membership of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
Cannelle Roumanie and Sam Wood received £4,000 in prize money and virtual business support from Arise for their idea, the My Safety App Match (MySAM). With more than 50 personal safety apps to choose from on the market, MySAM is aimed at finding the most suitable app for an individual, enabling them to travel confidently and venture further.
Other winners included:
Marcia Baldry, organiser of The Big Pitch on behalf of the Anglia Ruskin Enterprise Academy at ARU, said:
Jade Uko, Development Manager for the FSB (Essex), who sat on the judging panel, said:
Simon Preston, whose project Embrace Neurodiversity was awarded £1,000 from the prize pot, said:
The Big Pitch is our annual student enterprise competition. It's just one of the ways you can hone your brilliant business ideas at ARU.
Through the Anglia Ruskin Enterprise Academy, we offer a range of programmes, activities, and events for all students – along with opportunities to network.
You'll also be able to access careers and employability support throughout your time at ARU, and after you graduate.