Cardiff University

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The Start-up Awards are our annual ideas competition for Cardiff University students and graduates which provide prizes and support to help them develop innovative business ideas. There are two stages - in the autumn semester, students pitch for smaller amounts of funding to assist with validating their ideas. In the spring semester, the competition final gives students the opportunity to win larger sums of funding and support services such as legal advice, banking advice and access to professional workspace.

Winner: Route Konnect - Mohamed Binesmael, Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering) - Two Engineers in Business Prizes: £500 Early Stage Funding stage and £2,500 in the Start up Awards Final

Route Konnect uses innovative technologies to detect traffic movements in real time. The start-up is aiming to make smart cities a reality through the road infrastructure. By placing sensors to detect real-time traffic behaviour and in more detail, Route Konnect hopes to make a greater impact on cities. From affecting air quality monitoring and reducing emergency response times to connecting our future autonomous vehicles and charging the electric ones on the move.

Having presented the solution to the Vice President of China, as well as being supported by the Welsh Government's AGP (Accelerated Growth Programme) and being invited to collaborate with Dubai Police by the Dubai Government, Route Konnect feels it is gaining interest globally. The next step is to further connections with consultants in the UK and those in highway authorities.

Winner, Mohamed Binesmael said: "I’m very honoured to have been awarded the Engineers prize during the ceremony. It provides a big break for our start-up to progress with our next steps. The award bridge the gap for our route to even bigger opportunities and partnerships."

Positive Feedback

The EIBF support to Cardiff University has been tremendous in allowing a central team to engage more of our engineering staff and students with business start-up support. Thanks to the EIBF funding our start-up support has had greater visibility amongst some of our most innovative students. As a result, we have been able to support and grow a highly ambitious and innovative business founded by a postgraduate research student in engineering.

Rhys Pearce-Palmer, Enterprise Manager, Cardiff University