Press Releases

UK's Most Entrepreneurial Students Unveiled

  • Eight student entrepreneur winners announced at Santander Universities’  sixth annual Entrepreneurship Awards
  • UniGreenScheme from University of Birmingham and Motion Metrics from Imperial College London both win top prizes of £15,000

Student entrepreneurs from across the UK have been recognised at the sixth annual Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards ceremony held at The Hospital Club, London.

The awards recognise and reward student entrepreneurs from across the UK for their innovative, creative and forward thinking business ideas. Since the awards were launched, Santander Universities has given away more than £220,000 in support for budding student entrepreneurs. This year the awards are divided into two categories1: New Technologies and Mobile Applications, and Important Day-to-Day Products and Services. Within each category, entries were submitted in either the Idea or Start-Up stage. 

The eight winning entries were selected from a shortlist of 20 entrepreneurial projects by a panel of judges consisting of successful entrepreneurs, previous winners, and senior members of Santander UK and academia. Each of the winners were rewarded with cash prizes ranging from £1,000 for Runner-Up in the Idea Stage category to £15,000 for the Winners in the Start-up stages and were also offered mentoring and support from senior Santander UK teams.

The Winning Projects
Important day-to-day Products and Services

Winner for Start-up: UniGreenScheme – University of Birmingham  
Runner-up for Start-up: Power a life – University of Strathclyde 
Winner Idea Stage: AllDay Designs – University of Strathclyde
Runner-Up Idea Stage: Staels Design Ltd – University of Glasgow

Technology and Mobile Applications
Winner for Start-up: Motion Metrics – Imperial College London 
Runner-up for Start-up: Hoxton Analytics – University College London
Winner Idea Stage: Yonder – London School of Economics
Runner-Up Idea Stage: MeeTwo – Birkbeck, University of London

Michael McLeod, Founder of UniGreenScheme commented: “Winning was a massive surprise and a big boost for the whole team. These awards will enable us to enter a new phase of growth, get more universities on board and ultimately prevent more equipment from going to waste.”

Jamie Grant, Co-Founder of Motion Metrics commented: “It’s incredible to win these awards and it will make a huge kick-start to the business.”

Amanda Day, Founder and Company Director of AllDay Designs commented: “I feel overwhelmed to win such a great competition and so grateful as this is going to help the business hugely.” 

Corien Staels, Founder of Staels Design Ltd commented: “This is the first UK competition I’ve won and it’s a really big deal for me. It’s also brilliant to hear from other entrepreneurs and learn from their experience.” 

During the event, which hosted students from universities and colleges across the country, Robin Foale, Managing Director of Santander Universities stressed the importance of supporting students and higher education: “It’s crucial to encourage entrepreneurship every step of the way, especially for our young student entrepreneurs. They are the business leaders of tomorrow and are key to the growth and prosperity of our economy and it’s impressive to see so many students demonstrating a great deal of skill and initiative.”

New research conducted by Santander Universities2 to support the awards has revealed that more than one in 10 (11 per cent) students cited their university as the key influencer in their aspiration to run their own company. Although almost two thirds (61 per cent) surveyed highlighted they would like to receive more guidance from their university about starting a business - from finance and accounting through to marketing the company and sales. Students looking to start their own business whilst at university said they gained most support and information from family and friends (49 per cent rated it ‘very good’ or ‘good’) closely followed by universities (47 per cent) and financial services providers (42 per cent). 

Robin continued: “There is support and information available to students but our research highlights that more needs to be done to ensure it reaches those that need it.  The UK has one of the best higher education systems in the world and is the perfect breeding ground for entrepreneurs.  At Santander we want to reward and encourage students to dare to invent, innovate, create, and be entrepreneurial.”

In addition to the cash prizes all winners and runners-up were rewarded with a set of prizes from digital agency Talent Cupboard including a free designed, built and hosted mobile and SE0-optimised website to help them kick-start their business.

The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.


Notes to Editors 

1.    New technologies and mobile applications: This category includes all ideas/start-ups where a mobile application or technological solution (hardware or software) is central to the business model.

Important day-to-day products and services: This category includes all ideas/start-ups that provide important everyday products and services, which also have a creative background or a focus on benefiting society.

2.    Research conducted by YouthSight, 24th May – 1st June 2016 amongst a UK representative sample of 2,027 full time undergraduate students.


About The Winners

Important day-to-day Products and Services

Winner for Start-up: UniGreenScheme – University of Birmingham  
An asset resale service where they collect and sell surplus laboratory equipment for UK universities. To date, over 200 pieces of specialist equipment have been resold through the scheme, ranging from rock crushing machines to high-end analytical instruments. The funds that the scheme generates are put back into frontline research in laboratories on topics from cancer research to crop security.

Runner-up for Start-up: Power a life – University of Strathclyde
Social business which retails high quality mobile phone power accessories to ethically minded smart phone users in the UK / EU, using a buy-one, give-one model. The company gives a solar light to a school student in Africa for every product it sells to give children the opportunity to study at night, achieve better grades, and have more opportunities in life.

Winner Idea Stage: AllDay Designs – University of Strathclyde
A product design and manufacture business revolutionizing the 0-4 year child travel equipment market. The first innovation – the AllDay Excite travel-system – is a single versatile product that removes the need for parents to carry multiple items to cater for a child’s differing activity levels on a day out, reducing the number of equipment purchases and saving up to £400.

Runner-Up Idea Stage: Staels Design Ltd – University of Glasgow
Formed to meet unmet needs in rehabilitation product design and mobility equipment. The company’s flagship product, ‘WheelAir’, seeks to alleviate a number of pain points currently faced by wheelchair users.

Technology and Mobile Applications

Winner for Start-up: Motion Metrics – Imperial College London
A digital ski coach that analyses skier technique to provide actionable feedback that gives the user the magic of continuing to improve at a sport.

Runner-up for Start-up: Hoxton Analytics – University College London 
A device that accurately counts footfall in and out of a store, and also provides information on the demographics of those customers, without breaching personal privacy.

Winner Idea Stage: Yonder – London School of Economics
The world’s first travel search engine, which prioritises price, not destination. It is a mobile and web-based application with the central aim of enabling everyone to travel more often, to more interesting destinations and for better value. The value proposition is to show the user the cheapest destinations, on the day they want to get away, from the place they want to get away from.

Runner-Up Idea Stage: MeeTwo – Birkbeck, University of London
MeeTwo is a safe, moderated app for phone and web where young people can openly express their concerns or ask difficult questions without fear of recrimination, repercussion, intimidation or bullying. When a problem is posted, other users can post a reply, or they can click a MeeTwo button to register that they have had the same experience.

About Us

Santander Universities
Santander, through Santander Universities, tops the list of Fortune 500 in investment in education (Source: Varkey Report/UNESCO). The Bank has established partnerships with over 1,200 universities in 20 countries, of which 81 in the UK. Through these agreements Santander promotes entrepreneurship, employability and internationalisation. 
Further information: 

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its 1|2|3 products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs.  As at 31 December 2015, Santander UK was one of the most switched to banks. The bank serves more than 14 million active customers with c. 20,000 employees and operates through 857 branches and 70 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

Banco Santander (SAN.MC, STD.N, BNC.LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, based in Spain, with a meaningful market share in 10 core countries in Europe and the Americas. Santander is the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization and among the top banks on a global basis. Founded in 1857, Santander had EUR 1.51 trillion in managed funds, 13,000 branches and 194,000 employees at the close of 2015. In 2015, Santander made attributable profit of EUR 5,966 million, a 3% increase with respect to the previous year.

About Talent Cupboard
Talent Cupboard is an award-winning online platform that connects business with the best student and graduate digital talent. From coding, through to creative, our network of freelance talent are helping businesses source the digital services that they need in order to grow - all without breaking the bank. Businesses simply post their requirements, set a budget, and watch the applications roll in to complete their work.

As well as helping businesses to prosper, our community of students and graduates are using the platform to find work that is relevant to their studies. Meaning that they’re building a portfolio of experience that is invaluable for future jobs. In addition to learning new skills from this experience they’re also earning at the same time. Our model of “work, learn and earn” is helping students and graduates, throughout the UK, to enhance their employability the smart way.Businesses and entrepreneurs looking to find out more should head to: Students and graduates looking to find out more should head to:

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