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Venture Out 2017 ideas competition winners revealed

The winners of this year’s Venture Out ideas competition were announced at an awards ceremony on Tuesday 5 December. The competition is open to students from across the University and is run by Manchester Enterprise Centre, the focal point for student enterprise at The University of Manchester.

This year’s competition saw students compete in four categories – Business, Digital, Research and Social – as well as two Innovation Challenges set by competition sponsors Interface and Original Source. Winning ideas in each category were awarded a £500 cash prize to develop their idea and winners of the innovation challenges were awarded £1,000.

Business winner: AL-Dryer - The world’s first commercial foot dryer

Sami Al-Shatri, Alliance Manchester Business School

The proposed product idea is a wall mounted commercial foot dryer to be used in public changing rooms with adequate space. The product should encourage people to dry their feet after showering. Undried feet can lead to many types of infections. Main beneficiaries are to those who are diabetic, obese and the elderly.

Digital winner: FrameSafe

Luke Beamish, School of Computer Science

As the ecosystem of connected devices has grown, it has become increasingly difficult to secure networks of diverse smart devices. FrameSafe combines NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, built into the latest smartphones, with simple Ethernet encryptors to provide a straightforward and scalable network encryption system.

Research winners: Beehive Drones: Swarm Drones Technology for Agriculture Optimization

Ishak Hilton Pujantoro Tnunay, Muhamad Randi Ritvaldi, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Anindita Pradana Suteja, Alliance Manchester Business School

Beehive Drones is a research project aiming to design an Internet-of-Things based swarm drones technology as a novel approach to solve one of the biggest problem in the world, the increasing demand for food. A cooperative drones system is developed and made accessible via mobile applications to bring precision farming into hands of farmers.

Social winner: A Spectrum Of Possibilities 

Andrew Smith, School of Health Sciences

A Spectrum of Possibilities aims to tackle the huge inequalities that autistic people face at mainstream school through free specialist training, access to tailored social opportunities, career development workshops, drop in sessions for parents and more.

Innovation Challenge supported by Interface. Winner: Cryptoseal: Changing the face of UK Logistics

Joseph Wear, Alliance Manchester Business School

The challenge: How could manufacturers and logistics providers, operating in and around cities in the UK, best combine their logistics flows in a way that reduces emissions, improves efficiency (i.e. costs, volumes), benefits customers and delivers on the UN SDGs? How could digital technology be a catalyst for the transforming UK logistics to the benefit of manufacturers, customers and communities?

Innovation Challenge Supported by Original Source. Winner: Refill to reinvigorate

Finn Lawton, Alliance Manchester Business School

The challenge: Propose innovative solutions to reduce plastic consumption in the cosmetic industry via either reduction, re-use or recycling of plastic.