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Enterprising students raise University’s game

4 February 2010

This academic year has already witnessed a remarkable series of success stories around enterprise and innovation from all faculties across the University of Bristol. As the deadline approaches for its annual New Enterprise Competition (NEC), the University pays tribute to some of its inspiring young innovators from 2009.

Back in June, winners of the 2009 NEC were announced. Of the three winning entries, both Computer Science undergraduate Jennifer Griffiths and Sri Sharma from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry went on to win the student and staff categories at the South West Universities Enterprise Awards in the autumn. The third NEC prize-winner, undergraduate engineer Eddie Matos, is now in Tanzania trying to implement his social enterprise business plan.

The autumn term also saw the launch of the Social Enterprise Project, a new student society that has already set up a pioneering internship scheme with the Coexist initiative in Stokes Croft and won a national guerrilla marketing competition to raise awareness of entrepreneurial career options.

Research and Enterprise Development (RED) also entered the Stanford University-run ‘Global Innovation Tournament’ and supplied more entrants than any other UK institution in a challenge to make saving money fun.

In November, the University introduced its our first-ever alumni-funded Enterprise Scholarship, a £6,000 fund awarded to medical student Luc Bugeja to develop his start-up business.

In December, a team of PhD students drawn from Biochemistry, Chemistry and Maths won a national award in the Biotechnology YES scheme for their healthcare business concept. This capped a year in which Bristol entered more than twice as many teams for Research Council enterprise competitions as any previous year.

And so to this year’s NEC. The deadline for entries is 5 pm on 23 February. Prize money totalling £35,000 is available, as is business support and office space in the University’s award-winning SETsquared Business Incubator. The competition is open to both commercial and social enterprise ideas from staff, students and recent alumni.  More information about the competition and the enterprise support offered by the University is available online.

For further information about enterprise activities at the University, please contact Sadia Rooney, email


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