On Wednesday 4th of December, QUB Enterprise Student’s Union held the Award’s Ceremony of their annual ‘What’s the Big Idea?’ competition. With just under £3000 to be won over 11 categories, this competition drew in over 70 applications from across the university. Students entered their business ideas in the hopes of winning top prizes ‘Best Innovative Business Idea’ and ‘Best Overall Idea.’ Sponsored by Harbinson Mulholland and Ormeau Business Park, QUB Enterprise SU hosted a festive lunch in celebration of the finalists, welcoming judges, university staff, and business professionals from across Belfast, including QUB alumni James Fair- CFO of Fusion Antibodies- who inspired the finalists with his guest speech.
Peter Gilleece– student from the Faculty of Engineering & Physical Sciences- took away the prize for Most Innovative Idea with his 3D-printed body armour, whilst a team of Medicine, Health, and Life Sciences students won ‘Best Overall Idea’ with their sustainable fencing product ‘Plant Post.’ Each winner was granted £500 to pursue their business idea, whilst the 9 overall category winners received £200 each.
Programme Organizer, Francesca Morelli, said “What’s the Big Idea?’ is a great competition for students starting out on their entrepreneurial journey. It encourages students to think about projects commercially, and gives them that inspiration they may need to make their ideas a reality.”
MC, Alastair Cameron of Startacus, expressed that “it was really great to see how engaged and passionate the student entrepreneurs were and to see how much potential their ideas had,” while Treena Clarke of sponsors, Harbinson Mulholland, commented that there was “definitely the next generation of NI entrepreneurs in that room” and that they were “blown away by the ideas and the passion from the students.”
QUB Enterprise SU felt that the event was a great way to round off the first semester, celebrating creativity and rewarding innovation among students. The team used the Awards Ceremony as an opportunity to launch Semester 2 competition ‘QUB Dragon’s Den’ where students will have the chance to take their business’ to the next level with a more detailed application form, a tougher competitive process, and a bigger financial reward worth £15,000. QUB students can find out more about entering this competition on the Enterprise SU website.