Entrepreneurs share £100,000 prize money at Venture Further Awards

The Venture Further Awards were held in the Whitworth Hall on Wednesday 10 May, celebrating the entrepreneurial talent and creativity from students and recent graduates across The University of Manchester. Streamed live, the winners of the 2023 Venture Further Awards start-up competition were announced to the world.

Hosted by Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, Luke Georghiou, this uplifting evening saw ten teams of entrepreneurs receive a share of an increased cash prize fund of £100,000 to help take their start-ups to the next level. Luke commented: "On the 20th anniversary of the Venture Further Awards competition, it goes from strength to strength as new generations of entrepreneurs bring forward their ideas and insights to build innovative businesses which push the boundaries across such a wide range of economic and social opportunities. The University of Manchester is very proud of them!"

Joined by Scott Martin, Co-founder and CEO of Re:course AI, who spoke of his journey since winning the competition in 2018 and recently securing £3.5M investment from Northern Gritstone, the evening was a celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship at The University of Manchester.

Lynn Sheppard, Director of the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre commented: "This year’s Venture Further Awards were again an amazing demonstration of the entrepreneurial spirit of students and graduates from across the University."

Twenty teams reached the final round, across five categories - Environmental, Healthcare, Services, Social and Technology. Four teams competed for the top cash prize of £15,000 with second place winners receiving £5,000.

This year’s winners of £15,000 are:

Environmental Category: Naxca Ltd.

Naxca is on a mission to optimise and electrify space heating systems. Using technology and data-driven strategies to unlock the potential for lower running costs and reduced carbon emissions.

Marco Antonio Rodriguez Frias, Ph.D. Electrical and Electronic Engineering, School of Engineering, Alumni Class of 2020

Healthcare Category: NanoGraft Ltd.

A health tech start-up focussed on helping restore sensation to lower limb amputees. NanoGraft are developing a wearable device that provides sensory stimulus to the user allowing them to feel the ground when they walk.

Gergana Ivanova, MEng Material Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences
Omar Haroun, MEng Material Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences

Study at The University of Manchester opens in new window