On Wednesday 7th of December, SU Enterprise held the Awards Ceremony of their annual ‘What’s the Big Idea?’ competition. With £3,050 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 90 applications from across the university.
Sponsored by Ormeau Business Park, SU Enterprise 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 Peter Gileece and CEO of Vikela Armour, and Lucie Munier, who is the founder and CEO of Insurin.
Category winners included:
Best Green Business idea winner – Liam Campbell
Best Idea for Global Marketplace winner – Matthew Kissick
Best Idea from an International Student winner – Lokeshkumar Myilsamy
Best Idea from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences winner – Hannah Wasson
Best Idea from the Faculty of Engineering & Physical Sciences winner – Samuel Freeman
Best Idea from the Faculty of Medicine, Health & Life Sciences winner – Adanna Ewuzie
Best Idea from a Postgraduate Student winner – Isaac Gibson
Best Idea for a Social Enterprise winner – Dearbhla Shine
Best Use of Technology winner – Gareth Bryans
Mechanical Engineering student Liam Campbell took home the prize for ‘Most Innovative Idea’ with his idea for a ‘vertical, cylindrical hydro-turbine that utilises the phenomenon of resonance to generate hydropower energy without destroying ecosystems in the process.’
Mechanical Engineering student Josh Marsden won ‘Best Overall Idea’, with his idea called ‘SeaMe’ – ‘an adjustable distress alert bracelet to connect sea users and emergency services, with the intention of saving lives by reducing response times.’
Programme Organizer, Kat Maguire, said ‘The What’s the Big Idea? competition is a great way for students to ‘test the water’ with their idea and assess viability. The experience and confidence they gain from the programme provides them with the perfect opportunity to take their idea further and hopefully develop it into a viable start-up.’
Patricia McNeill, CEO of Ormeau Business Park commented ‘Ormeau Business Park are proud to sponsor the ‘What’s the Big Idea?’ competition for the fourteenth consecutive year. The award annually recognises the potential of the emerging entrepreneurial undergraduate and post graduate students at Queen’s University Belfast who seize the opportunity through this competition to springboard their talented and innovative business ideas.’
‘2022 was a record year for applicants and we look forward to watching these ideas develop as they strive to become real marketable trading solutions with a global reach.’
QUB SU Enterprise felt that the event was a great way to end the first semester, celebrating creativity and rewarding innovation amongst students. SU Enterprise launched their second semester competition ‘QUB Dragon’s Den’ at the event, which gives students the opportunity to take their businesses 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 SU Enterprise website.