INVENT Awards – 4 QUB SU Enterprise Student Winners
On Thursday 1st September, SU Enterprise attended the INVENT Awards where they supported eight QUB SU Enterprise students from seven teams who had reached the final stages of this annual startup competition run by Catalyst. With a prize fund of £47,000, INVENT recognises and rewards local innovations and proof of concept ideas that have the greatest commercial potential.
Queen’s Students’ Union Enterprise students and alumni came away with a total of £36,000 worth of equity-free funding to support their student startups. Winners included:
- Peter Gilleece with Vikela Body Armour; Overall INVENT Winner 2022 (£26,000 equity-free funding) & Winner of the Elevator Pitch Award (£1000 equity-free funding)
- Peter Gillan with Atlas Smart Technologies; Winner of Student INVENT (£1000 equity-free funding)
- Omar Salem with Field of Vision; Winner of the Inclusive Innovation Award (£3000 equity-free funding)
- Jonathan Smyth with Linc Technologies; Winner of the Consumer Software Award (£5000 equity-free funding)
Peter Gilleece’s innovation, Vikela Body Armour, focusses on comfortable and lightweight body armour that aims to provide complete protection for everyone. Winner of SU Enterprise’s What’s the Big Idea competition in 2019 for ‘Most Innovative Idea,’ and runner-up in QUB Dragons’ Den 2020, Peter has made tremendous steps since then having amassed over half a million pounds in funding to support the development of his innovation. He graduated from MEng Mechanical Engineering just last year and has been working full time at Vikela Body Armour ever since employing a small team and preparing for launch later this year.
Judith Maguire, Student’s Union Enterprise Manager has said “We’re so pleased to see the continued success of our students in external competitions. Being involved in programmes such as INVENT is a valuable incentive for entrepreneurs at an early stage to continue developing their business ideas.”
Francesca Morelli, Enterprise Development Coordinator added, “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. These wins are so well deserved, and this vital funding will help with costs as the students continue to develop their startups.”
Student’s Union Enterprise would like to extend their congratulations to all Queen’s students who reached the final of this highly competitive programme and encourage entrepreneurial students coming to QUB this year to get in touch should they wish to follow in their footsteps.