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Venture Out 2016 ideas competition winners revealed

The winners of Venture Out 2016, the University of Manchester’s signature ideas competition, have been announced at a ceremony that showcased some of the University’s best entrepreneurial thinkers. 

Five winners were selected from each prize category, which included business, social, digital, research and the PZ Cussons Innovation Challenge. 

The Innovation Challenge saw finalists pitch their ideas to a panel of expert judges, which included representatives from competition sponsor PZ Cussons. 

Venture Out is open to all current undergraduate, postgraduate and research students across the University of Manchester, with the chance to win a cash prize of up to £500 to support the development of a winning idea. 

This year’s winners were: 

Venture Out Research winner: 'Innovative Revolution in Nanoparticles: Mesostructured Metal Oxide Beads' by Chun-Ren Ke
Novel metal oxide beads offer numerous superior characteristics for use in various applications due to bi-functional properties from innate nanoparticles and acquired micro-particles. Using additives, nanoparticles can congregate into a relevant-sized microsphere. This methodology has been well patented and can be deemed as a paramount revolution of nanotechnology.

Venture Out Digital winner: 'Cut the Crapp' by Michal Wisniewski

This app would create videos that brief the whole content of a contract or Terms & Conditions. The notion that ‘a picture says a 1000 words’ exactly describes the purpose of the business – combining thousands of words into a short video so that customers really understand what they sign up for.

Venture Out Social winner: 'Kenko Foods' by Julian Castellanos and Natalia Diaz

Kenko Foods is an ethical business offering a set of delicious natural soups based on dehydrated products which are sold through vending machines. It provides healthy options for simple preparations and convenient consumption. The start-up’s aim is to support communities suffering from hunger and malnutrition in Colombia, receiving a percentage of the sales.

Venture Out Business winner: 'Nano-coated ultra-sharp Razor Blades' by Salman Malik

This idea was about extending the lifetime of wet shave razor blades using ultra-sharpened Nano-coated tips. The rapid consumption of single-use wet shaving blades represents an ongoing problem and stainless steel razor blades are consumed at a rate of 20 tonnes per day worldwide. The idea is to revolutionise the wet shaving industry using innovative nanofabrication techniques to offer ultra-sharp nano-coated razor blade tips.

PZ Cussons Innovation Challenge winner: 'Shape saver - The last ‘mil’ problem: trouble at mil' by Philip Michael Robinson

This innovative container shape is designed to ensure you maximise use of every millilitre of Original Source, helping you to save product, money and the environment, mil by mil.

Dr Martin Henery, Venture Competitions Director at Manchester Enterprise Centre, said: “The quality of this year’s entries has been exceptional – it is always fantastic to see what exciting and innovative ideas our students produce, and once again we have not been disappointed. 

“We are confident that, like the Venture Out finalists before them, many of this year’s winners will go on to achieve great success with their ideas – we hope that now many of them have chosen to Venture Out, they will Venture Further with our next ideas competition, which has opened today. 

“We wish all of our finalists huge congratulations and the best of luck for the future, and we can’t wait to see what they do next.”