Celebrating student entrepreneurship success at the Venture Further Awards 2024

The Masood Entrepreneurship Centre (MEC) at The University of Manchester is delighted to have successfully concluded the Venture Further Awards 2024, the UK’s leading university-led start-up competition.

The annual competition, which boasts a substantial £100,000 prize fund, saw a record-breaking 143 applications this year, marking a 34% increase from the previous year. The competition attracted innovative business proposals across five categories: Healthcare, Services, Technology, Environment, and Social.

From sustainable solutions in the Environment category to revolutionary healthcare innovations and transformative technologies, the breadth and depth of ideas showcased by our finalists have been astounding. On top of that, impressive entries in the Services and Social categories highlighted our students and recent graduates’ commitment to addressing a wide range of social issues and needs.

The night started with Lynn Sheppard, Director of MEC, addressing the quality of the entries and the competition’s significant growth from its previous years. Other speakers for the night included Luke Georghiou (Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Manchester), Lee Pugalis (MEC Deputy Director), Matilda Page (MEC Enterprise Business Development Executive), Sam Patchitt (Investment and Portfolio Manager at GC Angels), Meredith Greey (Head of Programmes at Hatch) and Natalie Jameson (Chief executive and inventor of YZen.ai).

The Venture Further Awards dinner, held on Wednesday, 8 May 2024, was an evening of celebration and recognition of the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation within our community. Winners of the first (£15,000) and second (£5,000) prizes in each category were announced and awarded for their remarkable efforts and potential to make a significant impact in their respective fields.

Venture Further 2024 Winners

Environment Category
  • 1st place winner: Timothy Capper, OptiSpark
  • 2nd place winner: Nayab Raza, ALGAVERSE

(Winners pictured with Lee Pugalis, Deputy Director of the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre)

Healthcare Category
  • 1st place winner: Tunde Oremulé, Airyn
  • 2nd place winners: Liam Johnson, MouseAble and Steven Mayers, Zeus Biologics Ltd

(Winners pictured with Matilda Page, Enterprise Business Development Executive at the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre)
  • 1st place winner: Moradeke Orekoya, Skinpli
  • 2nd place winner: Mark Kashumba, UGAFARM

(Winners pictured with Sam Patchitt, Investment and Portfolio Manager at GC Angels)

Social Category
  • 1st place winner: Danielle Fatunla, The Onyx Group
  • 2nd place winner: Chanel Ehi-Palmer, EHI

(Winners pictured with Meredith Greey, Head of Programmes at Hatch)

Technology Category
  • 1st place winner: Harvey Lowe, Arcube (pictured above with co-founder Prithveesh Reddy)
  • 2nd place winner: Ed Engleback, Altaia

(Winners pictured with Natalie Jameson, Chief Executive and Inventor of YZen.ai) The Masood Entrepreneurship Centre extends its congratulations to all winners and participants. We are incredibly proud to be a part of these bright minds’ entrepreneurial journeys. With the conclusion of this year’s Venture Further Awards, we look forward to the innovative and impactful ideas that next year’s competition will undoubtedly bring.

The night concluded with the announcement that Lynn Sheppard, Director of MEC, will be stepping down from her role after 24 years. On behalf of The University of Manchester and the Alliance Manchester Business School, we express our gratitude for her dedication. She has been the trailblazer for MEC and a pioneer of entrepreneurship for staff, students, and graduates at this university.

As a hub for all’entrepreneurial activities at The University of Manchester, the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre will continue to champion our students, recent graduates, and staff’s entrepreneurial aspirations. We remain committed to offering a wide array of co-curricular activities, such as competitions, speaker events, workshops, and start-up support programmes, to help our community gain invaluable experience and kick-start their entrepreneurial journeys.

For more information about the Venture Further Awards or the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre, please visit our website.