November 25, 2013

Next generation of entrepreneurs shine in national pitching competition sponsored by the Tata group

London: Once again the Tata group was proud to be the headline sponsor of the Varsity Pitch Competition, which this year saw a Brighton University graduate win a prize of £10,000 for her business idea of a radical new bicycle light designed to save lives and improve cycle safety.

The Varsity Pitch Competition, organised by the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs (NACUE) and sponsored by Tata for the past four years, aims to find the brightest student entrepreneurs and innovators through competitions in seven different categories ranging from financial and innovative technology to apps and online.

This year’s grand final took place at the British Library, on November 22, during the global enterprise week. Compèred by Rebecca Burn-Callander, enterprise editor of The Daily Telegraph, the grand final saw seven teams pitch their innovative ideas to a panel of five judges including Dr David Landsman, executive director of Tata and Anthony Ng Monica, the winner of the 2012 competition and founder of technology start-up Swogo.

In an intense final pitch-off, Arthur Kay and Bio-Bean (converting waste coffee grounds into bio-fuels), winner of the Tata Blue Skies disruptive business category award, competed against Emily Brooke and team's Blaze (a revolutionary bicycle light which also projects a laser image of a bike on the road ahead), winner of the product design category. The judges ultimately awarded the £10,000 prize to Blaze, which Emily and her team intend to use on scientific research into driver perception, including retina tracking and reaction times.

The judges also commended INK, a company set up by sixth formers at Oxford High School, who are working to make cooking fun for young people through interactive cookery books. INK also won the "people's choice" vote.

Speaking on behalf of Tata at the grand final, Dr Landsman said: “We are delighted to sponsor this excellent NACUE-organised competition which is going from strength to strength. The Varsity Pitch Competition proves that fresh, challenging thinking and entrepreneurial, innovative ideas continue to thrive in UK, where it matters most — among our next generation of businessmen and women. Large businesses, like Tata, need to work with small businesses, like those created by this year's finalists to ensure we all remain innovative and entrepreneurial. We are really pleased to be able to do our bit to help.”

Please follow the link here to watch a short video of the Varsity Pitch grand final.