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Ignition Awards spark innovative ideas from Alliance MBS staff, students and alumni

Alliance Manchester Business School (Alliance MBS), alongside Manchester Enterprise Centre (MEC) and The University of Manchester's Intellectual Property commercialisation division (UMIP) is pleased to announce their Ignition Funding Opportunity - 2016 has resulted in eight outstanding budding entrepreneurs receiving awards of £500 to £2000 to further develop their ideas.

The competition was open to all staff, students and recent graduates of Alliance MBS and individuals were encouraged to submit ideas for entrepreneurial solutions to business, social or environmental problems.

It was launched to support new opportunities to bring into reality the ideas of Alliance MBS staff and students and help to maximise their potential for 'real world' use or societal benefit.

The awards showcase a wide range of innovative ideas which include:

  • Graduate of 2015, Jedrzej Czarnota, with his DataSeer idea which aims to develop a Big Data customer analytics service for videogame firms for guiding software (videogame) design decisions.
  • Lecturer Dr Duncan Thomas with Green Island Friends that will produce a free-to-view online animated children’s cartoon series on global virtues and character development in multiple languages.
  • Dr Bimal Arora, an already experienced social entrepreneur, is developing a national level Corporate Sustainability Coalition in India mobilising micro, small and medium sized enterprises that form part of global value chains.
  • Russell Miller, Director of Sponsorship, submitted his idea for Sleeping Lions to produce celebratory adventures and events using large scale props and traditional game play to create fantastic places for children to experience in the home or party venue.

Tony Walker and Lynn Sheppard, commented: "The University has a great record in commercialisation of research and student enterprise. The emphasis on developing ideas from within Alliance MBS demonstrates further the innovation within our institution.  We received 13 entries overall and the diversity of applicants and their ideas was inspiring."

Ismail Ertürk, Director for Social Responsibility and Engagement at Alliance MBS, who helped coordinate and judge the competition, commented: "It was very pleasing to see the full range of the Alliance MBS community participating in this award with great entrepreneurial ideas that address local and global social issues.  Through these awards our community contributes to the University’s Goal 3 Agenda whilst collaborating with MEC and UMIP."

Alongside their funding, future support will include entering Venture Further and Innovation Optimiser workshops to hone business cases and securing a range of mentoring opportunities for the award winners to ensure their enterprises continue to flourish. There are plans to run this competition again next year and the programme team aim to build on the success and interest which has been generated over the past few months.