Published: 15 June 2021 at 10:00
ARU student entrepreneurs receive cash prizes for their brilliant business ideas
A business idea for a global social network and marketing platform for the fast-growing field of neuro-related research and clinical practice has won an Anglia Ruskin University student £5,000 and access to a raft of support from business experts.
Utkarsh Gupta, who is studying for a PhD from the school of Psychology and Sport Science, wowed judges at The Big Pitch, ARU’s annual competition that invites students from all faculties to pitch a business idea to a panel of external business leaders.
Along with the cash prize, Utkarsh, who lives in Cambridge, will receive six months’ rent-free space at an ARU Arise business incubation facility, worth £6,000, to help develop his business, Neurogether.
Other winners included third-year Illustration student Abi Winter, whose eco-friendly paper flower business Full Bloom received £2,000, and MA Children’s Book Illustration students Kate Rolfe and Mariska Gewald, who received £3,000 to grow their business The Pod, an online creative community which leads drawing and writing lessons for all levels.
There were additional prizes for Nigel Bennett, who won Student Entrepreneur of the Year, and Nahiba Uddin, who won the Student Social Entrepreneur Award. Both won £1,000 cash.
Nigel, Abi, Kate and Mariska also won a year’s membership of the Federation of Small Businesses, which was a sponsor of the event.
Prizes were announced by the Vice Chancellor of ARU, Professor Roderick Watkins, who said:
“The Big Pitch is a real highlight of the year. It brings to life what we seek to do at the heart of our university, transforming lives through innovative, inclusive and entrepreneurial education and research.
“I’m really proud of our students for generating these exciting ideas and of our staff for fostering that entrepreneurial spirit. I’d like to thank and commend each of the finalists for the extraordinary quality and ambition they are showing.
“The last 18 months have been a time of unprecedented challenge. As we come out of the pandemic, the country is going to need the energy, imagination and innovation of young people even more than before.”