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The University of Bristol’s New Enterprise Competition (NEC) is a business start-up competition that allows students, staff and alumni to pitch for a share of over £40,000, legal support and business acceleration services, to develop a commercial or social enterprise.
Winner: CircleR - Enrico Varano, Milo Eadie and Claudio Varano - MEng Engineering Design Students - £1,200 Engineers in Business Prize

CircleR is a zero-waste online store that offers a wide range of grocery and household products in long-life reusable containers instead of disposable packaging, provided to customers via zero-emission delivery. CircleR also acts as a Circular Economy e-commerce platform for our partner suppliers. CircleR won top funding amounts as part of the Ideas and Development stages of the competition. The team also took part in the Growth support programme, which pairs founders with a mentor and access to business advisers.

Winner: ecoSokoni - Ian Odhiambo, BEng, Civil Engineering - £1,200 Engineers in Business Prize

ecoSokoni is an online farmers’ platform whose main aim is to connect farmers directly to the market through the website or/and mobile application. ecoSokoni provides a forum for all agricultural practitioners like farmers, grocers, hotels, agro vets, experts, engineers and farm machinery sellers to interact, buy, sell, and offer services to each other using our e-commerce platform. ecoSokoni won the top prizes as part of the Ideas and Development stage of the competition.

Winner: VIRDI Aeroponics - Jonathan Cheong, MEng Civil Engineering; Vincent Wong, BSc Computer Science; Nerissa Hoi Ching Lee; Marcus Ng, MEng Engineering Design and Vico Wong, MEng Aerospace Engineering - £700 Engineers in Business Prize

VIRDI Aeroponics provides an enclosed, automated, and self-sustaining gardening system at home. It is an aeroponic system for clients to grow various types of consumable crops conveniently despite adverse climatic conditions such as heatwaves or social conditions such as a pandemic. Aeroponics is the process of growing plants suspended in mist without the use of soil making growth highly efficient in terms of yield and water use. VIRDI Aeroponics was awarded funding in the Ideas and Development stage of the competition.

Positive Feedback

The EiB prize fund allows us to flexibly support engineering students and engineering innovations through our established New Enterprise Competition. We’ve had the pleasure of receiving this funding for several years now and the types of ideas it supports are always exciting and inventive.


Katie Martin, Student Enterprise and SME Development Manager