This is the second year that the University of Exeter has run the Elevate competition, funded by Engineers in Business (EIB). Last year one of our contestants, Duncan Lyster, attended the 2019 final where he was runner-up with his sustainable surfboard start-up, Lyster Surfcraft. Duncan’s success, along with our new Engineering & Entrepreneurship programme, made this year’s competition even more popular with engineers across all disciplines and year groups.
The competition has improved the professional development of students involved, boosting their inter-disciplinary knowledge across numerous sectors of engineering, science and business.
The EIB prize fund that fuels the Elevate competition has provided last year’s contestants with the means to further their business development, with some using the funding to develop prototypes, marketing and beta trials. This year’s winners have detailed their plans for the funding, which includes replacing tooling, launching a beta service and funding iterative product development. This year, the level of cash prizes awarded were based on the students’ proposals and how they aim to develop their ideas.
This sort of competition and funding provides students with the self-motivation and ‘real-world’ experience needed at university level, and I’m proud to see the students at the University of Exeter are creating and developing businesses that have the potential to excel after their studies.
Ceri Howell, Associate Lecturer Engineering with Entrepreneurship