LSBU entrepreneurs win start-up supportLondon South Bank University (LSBU) held its annual 'Make it Happen' business plan competition this week, providing LSBU entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their business proposal in a bid to win a package of mentoring and support, cash and incubation space for their start-up enterprise.
Winner of the competition was Bharat Chhabhadia, an LSBU alumnus and inventor of 'SimPill'—an innovative tablet dispenser that revolutionises the way medication is taken. As winner, Bharat receives £1,000 towards developing his business, mentoring support provided by LSBU's Student Enterprise team, incubation space and an Institute of Directors membership for one year.
"Patients often find it challenging to manage complex medication regimes set by their doctors," explains Bharat. "SimPill drastically improves patient compliance and adherence which enables patients to better manage their drug regimes. It has the ability to significantly improve patient healthcare, with potentially life-saving results."
"Winning this competition will certainly help bring SimPill closer to market. The range of business support and facilities that LSBU is able to provide will be invaluable to the company's development."
Runner-up was Rebecca Clements for Becky's Bakes, a bakery and coffee shop to be established in Loughor, Wales. Third place went to Emma Agese for her natural cosmetics company Agese Oils. Rebecca and Emma each receive £500, a one-year Institute of Directors membership, and 6 months and 3 months of incubation space respectively.
Separately, Emma has also been shortlisted for Shell's LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Awards, where each month up to four prizes of £1,000 are awarded to young entrepreneurs with the most innovative business ideas. The awards are decided by public voting, closing 31 May.
Other 'Make it Happen' candidates in the shortlist included David Bull, whose business UP Furniture is an incubator to facilitate furniture designers getting their creations manufactured and to market; Dermot Naughten, whose product 'Call a Friend' is an out-of-hours emergency maintenance contractors service for the property management industry; Charlotte Beck with social enterprise SaintClinx, alternative education provision to stop permanent social exclusion taking place; and Simone Crimella, whose product is Hyflex, an innovative kitchen glove for the hospitality sector.
Special guest Yvonne Witter, founder and director of AMPOD and Enterprise4Women, was the keynote speaker for the evening. A Southwark Business Woman of the Year 2009, Witter is an expert in entrepreneurial skills development, both at strategic government level and as a programme development specialist. She contributes to economic development initiatives that encourage and support new start-ups across the UK, Africa and the Caribbean.