Queen’s University Belfast students secure £100k in start-up funding amidst the Covid-19 pandemic
The Queen’s Students’ Union’s Enterprise SU team has supported 8 students and alumni in securing over £100,000 in funding from external competitions and grants this year.
Enterprise SU has continued to nurture NI’s most exciting entrepreneurial talent amidst the Covid-19 pandemic by providing start-up advice, mentoring, programmes, and competitions, such as QUB Dragons’ Den, as well as offering support through external funding opportunities.
Leon Gibson, Business Management student from Belfast, took First Place and £35k in The Techstart X Creator Fund Challenge for his startup ‘MyRafflr’, a raffle-based marketplace facilitating highly secure and transparent digital raffles for individuals, charities, and organisations.
Speaking about the support received from the Enterprise SU Team, Leon Gibson said:
“I couldn’t speak highly enough of the team at Enterprise SU and the support they have provided me over the last few months… I would encourage anyone with anything from an initial idea to a developing stage start up to reach out and make use of the resources available”.
Peter Gillan, Mechanical Engineering student from Ballymena, secured Third Place and £10k for his start-up ‘Atlas Smartbell’, a smart adjustable dumbbell that empowers people to receive personal training from their living room.
Speaking of the Enterprise SU Team, Peter Gillan said:
“The Enterprise SU team has proven invaluable in helping secure our team’s first funding. With their guidance, we were able to communicate our vision and convince investors that our ideas have real commercial potential. We’re looking forward to continuing our relationship with the Enterprise SU team as we bring our product to market!”
Some of the other external competition and grant winners that Enterprise SU have supported this year include:
Shea Quinn, PhD student from Newry, who won £10k in Catalyst’s Co-Founder Competition for ‘Bioliberty,’ an assistive glove that will benefit both sufferers of hand weakness and occupational therapists to accommodate remote hand therapy. Shea was one of 4 QUB students to receive this £10k grant from Catalyst, Belfast as part of their ‘Co-Founders’ competition.
Jonathan Smyth, Software Development student from Belfast, who won a £10k Techstart Proof of Concept Grant for ‘Linc Technology’ the world’s first digital visual, hand sizing smartphone system for the jewellery and watch e-commerce space.
Omar Salem, Aerospace Engineering student from Dublin, who won €10,000 in The Student Entrepreneur Awards for his joint start-up ‘Field of Vision,’ a product that uses artificial intelligence to gather all of the action of a live sports match, and broadcast this to purpose-built touch-based devices to enable visually impaired sports fans to follow and experience the game with their own senses.
Speaking about her role in encouraging and supporting students in their start-up aspirations Francesca Morelli, Enterprise SU’s Enterprise Development Officer, said:
“We are inspired every day by the students and alumni who come to us with their ideas and aspirations, and I’m delighted that so many of those that we have supported have been rewarded this year. These wins are so well deserved, and this vital funding will help with costs as the students continue to develop their startups.”