COVID-19 Update - 08 September 2020

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In 2020, De Montfort University adapted its established business plan competition, Pitch2win, to run as a dedicated competition in association with Engineers in Business. The competition encouraged collaboration between students from the faculty of Computing, Engineering and Media and students studying other subjects such as business or design. The two most inspiring innovations won Engineers in Business Competition awards, enabling them to turn their business ideas into reality.
Winner: VYBE Music - Farès Abida, International Student (France), MSc Creative Enterprise; Mykolas Kaminskas, BSc in Software Engineering and Sangita Ganesh, MA in Design Marketing – £2,000 Engineers in Business Prize

VYBE Music is building an app that helps Spotify users discover more music based on their real time location, letting them livestream music together for collaborative listening and to explore their music taste.

Farès believes that music has the power to create connections between people, forming new friendships and providing a new way for businesses to create and grow their web audio presence.

Farès said “People bond over music because it says a lot about who you are. Using this app people can work out together and train listening to the same music. You can walk past a cafe or a nightclub and check out the music they are playing!

“We have an idea to create a digital hub with different rooms playing different kinds of music, and you know that people in the rooms like the same music as you.

"I really want this to be my job and the plan is to develop the apt and do a beta test at DMU with students. Winning the competition is a huge step for me and our company.”
Second Prize Winners: Hands-in - Sam Flynn, Business Management and Economics - £1,000 Engineers in Business Prize

Hands-in is a new payment service providing retailers with the ability to allow users to split the cost of their online purchases with their peers. The aim is to eliminate the burden that customers face when chasing up their peers for money they are owed so they can focus on enjoying the customer experience. From a Friday night takeaway with their mates to booking the group holiday of lifetime hands-in is the payment platform to fulfil any group's needs.

Explaining his innovation, Sam said: “I came up with the idea after realising the hassle involved in chasing your mates for money. We see this problem all time from ordering takeaways to purchasing festival tickets. This process is often frustrating and results in arguments and we are aiming to change that. You shop online as normal and when you reach the checkout, you select Hands-in as the payment method. We then provide the ability to add other friends into the cost of the transaction to split the payment. There’s nothing else like this on the market.

“DMUworks Enterprise has really helped with advice and they helped me hire student interns who conducted market research – they have been great.”

Positive Feedback

Partnering with Engineers in Business was invaluable for this DMU competition and fantastic for enterprise at the university on the whole. Students from our CEM (Computing, Engineer and Media) faculty have a tendency not to engage in business competitions like this, as we know they feel they are disadvantaged in comparison to students from the business faculty. We were particularly thrilled that the mechanics of the competition meant entrants had to collaborate with students from a different faculty to their own.

Simon Baines, Innovation Centre Manager, Department of Research, Business and Innovation