On Wednesday 1st of December, QUB Enterprise SU held the Awards Ceremony of their annual ‘What’s the Big Idea?’ competition. With £2800 worth of funding to be won across 11 categories including ‘Best Green Business Idea’ and ‘Best Idea for a Social Enterprise’, the competition drew in over 50 applications from across the university.
Sponsored by Ormeau Business Park, Enterprise SU hosted a festive afternoon in celebration of the finalists, welcoming judges, university staff, and business professionals from across Belfast. Guests heard inspirational talks from QUB alumni Naomi McGregor, CEO of MoveTru and Bronagh Smyth, who is a User Researcher at Kainos.
MC for the event, Alastair Cameron, announced PhD students Matthew O’Neill and Mark Williams as the winners for ‘Most Innovative Idea’ with their idea called ‘Pulse’ – a knowledge transfer platform that helps United Nations Peacekeepers to build peace in the digital age by using data to answer complex questions and aid lifesaving decisions. Mechanical Engineering student Kyle Hutton won ‘Best Overall Idea’, with his idea of a smart beehive which can be monitored remotely and is operated using solar energy.
Programme Organizer, Gillian Dunn, said “What’s the Big Idea?’ is an amazing platform for students starting out on their entrepreneurial journey. It encourages students to think about ideas commercially whilst providing them with the confidence they may need to turn their ideas into a reality.”
Patricia McNeill, CEO of Ormeau Business Park commented ‘Ormeau Business Park is privileged to continue the collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast by sponsoring the ‘What’s the Big Idea?’ Awards again in 2021.
‘The high standard of applications received in this year’s competition showcases the wealth of innovative and visionary business ideas received from across the faculties that display true potential to scale up to become significant players in the global marketplace.’
QUB Enterprise SU felt that the event was a great way to end the first semester, celebrating creativity and rewarding innovation amongst students. Enterprise SU launched their semester 2 competition ‘QUB Dragon’s Den’ at the event, which gives students the opportunity to take their business’ to the next level with a more detailed application form, a tougher competitive process, and a bigger financial reward worth £20,000. QUB students can find out more about entering this competition on the Enterprise SU website.