Engineering Graduate from Aberystwyth University Makes it to the Final of the Engineers in Business Innovation Competition
Twenty-two-year-old Karl Swanepoel, an Artificial Intelligence and Robotics graduate, from Aberystwyth University has secured a place in the final of the Engineers in Business Champion of Champions innovation competition, which will be hosted by TV presenter Rob Bell at the Royal Academy of Engineering on 22 October 2021.
Karl Swanepoel invented Revolancer, a freelance marketplace that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to innovate quality control and will be pitching his innovation against nine other teams of student and graduate innovators in the national final. A total prize pot of £15,000 is up for grabs, providing vital seed money to help the winners develop their innovation. The winners will also receive mentoring from business leaders who are members of the Sainsbury Management Fellows network, plus CV packages from Purple CV and entrepreneurial books from Cambridge University Press.
The competition is sponsored by the registered charity, Engineers in Business Fellowship which champions business education for engineers and supports universities by giving them grants to award prizes to students who develop ground-breaking ideas. The grants enable universities to inspire more engineering and technology students and post-graduates to participate in innovation and entrepreneurship, skills that they take into their careers.
Revolancer – Revolutionising the Way Businesses Hire Freelancers Online
Revolancer is a freelance marketplace that uses AI to innovate quality control. It connects skilled freelancers with ambitious businesses looking to grow. The platform uses AI-powered quality control as a standard, keeping overheads low. As a result, buyers hiring freelancers get both value and quality without compromise. Karl recently launched Revolancer Beta, and already has over 150 users enjoying the platform. Revolancer’s advisory board includes the founding CMO of Just Eat.
The idea for Revolancer came to Karl during his teenage years and having acquired business innovation skills he has hit the ground running since graduating this year as he explains: “I freelanced as a teenager to make some money online. I quickly realised that existing platforms don’t treat freelancers fairly and that there was a better way to do things. I’ve always wanted to start a business, and this is a problem that I felt passionate about solving.
The Engineers in Business competition is designed to inspire engineers to study business and innovation. Karl said, “Engineering and entrepreneurship have a lot in common. With both, you strive to find creative solutions to complex problems and provide value by making something more efficient. Business skills should be taught to engineering students alongside mentorship. I couldn’t have achieved what we have without the mentorship of a number of experienced individuals, who all kindly gave their time to help us develop a stronger pitch and business model.”
The Awards Presentation Ceremony – 22 October 2021
The live online dragons’ den style competition will be compered by TV presenter, Rob Bell. Competing against nine other teams, Karl will have six minutes to convince the judges, through his presentation and Q&A session, that he should be crowned a Champion of Champions and take home a cash prize of between £1,500 and £8,500 depending on the award or awards received! Amongst other criteria, the judges will be assessing the impact of Revolancer on freelance professionals and the businesses with which they collaborate.
The members of the judging panel are:
- Dr Andy Phillipps, Entrepreneur and early-stage tech investor and venture capitalist
- Ana Avaliani, Director of Enterprise and Sustainable Development, Royal Academy of Engineering
- Dr Jeroen Bergmann, Associate Professor of Engineering Science, University of Oxford
- Serge Taborin, Government Digital Transformation, Amazon Web Services
Karl will be competing for an Engineers in Business Champion of Champions title against nine other teams from the University of Nottingham, University of Aberdeen, University of Exeter, Imperial College London, Nottingham Trent University, University of Portsmouth, University of Birmingham, University of Sheffield and the University of York.
Commenting on reaching the Engineers in Business Champion of Champions Final Karl said, “Taking part in the final is an incredible opportunity, and I’m very grateful to have progressed to this stage. It was fantastic to meet the other finalists and learn about their ideas too, and I’m very excited to pitch to the judges and hopefully win their support.”