Student start-up success stories

Read a selection of our students' stories of developing their business ideas through our annual competition, the Big Pitch.

Adam Sheffield: History Revisited

Composite image of Adam and Douglas of The Big Pitch 2022 finalist History Revisited

History Revisited, comprising ARU student Adam Sheffield (left) and his colleague Douglas (right), proposes to use artefacts to teach people in schools, youth organisations, and higher education institutions about military history.

They dress in authentic costume, and between them possess an extensive collection of shrapnel, grenades, shells, bayonets, rifles, and personal items from World Wars I and II.

History Revisited was a finalist in the Big Pitch 2022.

Find out more about History Revisited and watch their video pitch on the Big Pitch website.

Asima Rafique, Enrico Iraldo and Joseph Ashton: Exelerex

Composite photo of Enrico Iraldo and Joseph Ashton of 2022 Big Pitch winners Exelerex

Exelerex, comprising ARU students Enrico Iraldo (left), Joseph Ashton (right), and Asima Rafique, aims to address the issue of drowsiness in the haulage industry.

Their proposed retrofittable safety device will monitor alertness in drivers using brain signals and infrared cameras.

Exelerex won £4,000 in prize money and an additional £3,000 Engineers in Business Award, six months’ free office space at ARU’s Arise Innovation Hub, and a one-year membership of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), at the Big Pitch 2022.

Find out more about Exelerex and watch their video pitch on the Big Pitch website.

Ellie Benham: Information is Power

Ellie Benham

Information is Power, a start-up by ARU student Ellie Benham, aims to establish a centralised online information hub providing valuable information for those that have experienced violence, as well as their friends and family.

The hub aims to improve conviction rates and victims' feelings of safety and control. The idea already has the backing of Essex County Council and Essex Police, demonstrating its potential.

Information is Power was a finalist at the Big Pitch 2022.

Find out more about Information is Power and watch Ellie's video pitch on the Big Pitch website.

Sam Wood and Cannelle Roumanie: My Safety App Match

Composite photo of Sam Wood and Cannelle Roumanie of Big Pitch 2022 winner My Safety App Match

My Safety App Match (MySAM), comprising ARU students Sam Wood (left) and Cannelle Roumanie (right), aims to help individuals find a personal safety app, out of more than 50 on the market, that suits their particular needs.

The app will ask users about their safety needs and safety features that appeal to them, and make two or three suggestions based on their answers.

It will save agencies such as local councils and the police recommending different apps to different user groups, and data provided with users' consent could help app developers better meet their needs in the future.

MySAM won £4,000 in prize money and virtual business support from Arise at the Big Pitch 2022.

Find out more about My Safety App Match and watch their video pitch on the Big Pitch website.

Sebastiano Pagliaro: Green Wave

Sebastiano Pagliaro

Green Wave, a start-up by ARU student Sebastiano Pagliaro, proposes to convert the kinetic energy of streams into electricity by using powerful water flows. It aims to give the excess energy back to the grid.

It also proposes to empower rural and urban communities by educating people on how to protect the environment, and how to make use of it without harming it.

Green Wave was a finalist at the Big Pitch 2022.

Find out more about Green Wave and watch Sebastiano's video pitch on the Big Pitch website.

Simon Preston: Embrace Neurodiversity

Simon Preston

Embrace Neurodiversity, a start-up by ARU student Simon Preston, aims to support businesses in developing a neurodiversity-friendly environment that generates innovation. It proposes to highlight the important difference between integration and inclusion.

In doing so, it will promote an inclusive leadership and management framework that recognises and derives maximum benefit from from neurodivergent team members' strengths, and makes reasonable adjustments to accommodate their difficulties.

Embrace Neurodiversity won £1,000 in business funding at the Big Pitch 2022.

Find out more about Embrace Neurodiversity and watch Simon's video pitch on the Big Pitch website.

Utkarsh Gupta: Neurogether

Neurogether logo

Neurogether Ltd. is an early stage start-up that aims to create a global networking platform for all neuro-minded people.

These include clinicians, researchers, neurodiverse individuals, and those affected by various neurological disorders.

People with an interest in various brain science fields such as neuroscience, neurology, neurosurgery, psychology, neuropsychology, computational neuroscience, and psychiatry are also welcome.

Neurogether takes the form of a website and an app-based networking platform. It also aims to organise events and conferences to connect neuro-minded people in the "real world".

Founder Utkarsh Gupta won the first prize of £5,000 in business funding, six months' rent-free space at ARU's Chelmsford Arise Hub (worth £6,000), and a raft of support from business experts, at the Big Pitch 2021.

Since then, Neurogether has become a registered company in the UK. It has completed closed beta testing of its website and recently released the Neurogether app for open beta testing on both the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

Currently, Neurogether is actively involved in organising its first annual conference, Neurogether Conference 2022.