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The University of York's Business Innovation & Entrepreneurship course provides broad coverage of what’s involved in the exploitation of technologies through innovation and entrepreneurship. It is a practical introduction to the creation and development of enterprises that generate and sustain value from ideas, inventions and opportunities. The broad aims of the course are to (a) develop an awareness of, and interests in, business innovation and entrepreneurship, (b) introduce participants to the factors involved in taking new technology to market, (c) enhance employability through greater business awareness and confidence, (d) encourage students to explore ambitions around launching or joining early-stage businesses and develop students' potential to become job creators.
Winner: Lighthouse Team - Lewis Hill, Adrian Maidman, Samuel Foster, Wanyun Law, Emily Martin - Third Year Interactive Media undergraduates from the Department of Theatre Film & TV. The team was awarded a £1,500 Engineers in Business Prize

This team has created a business called Lighthouse which has created the North Star tracker. This device and associated bespoke software, pinpoints and alerts trusted carers when vulnerable individuals leave a designated ‘safe zone’. Lighthouse team member Emily Martin said: "Taking part in the Business Innovation & Entrepreneurship course was such an enjoyable experience for our team. With all of us entering the course with little to no knowledge of the business world, to coming out with Lighthouse's strong business plan and product that won us the University-Wide Dragon’s Den pitch, it’s safe to say that we have learnt and developed a lot of invaluable knowledge and skills that we will be able to adapt and use in the next steps of each of our journeys."

Joint Runner-up: Rocker Team - Adam Caldwell and James Wilkinson, First Year Computer Science undergraduates. The team was awarded a £750 Engineers in Business Prize

The Rocker provides a platform for musicians to get more fans, sell merchandise and raise their profile. James Wilkinson from the Rocker Team, said: "The course and competition have been an awesome experience. It’s been my favourite module of the term. I loved it and it’s been so fun!  I am really looking forward to the next stages."

Joint Runner-up: The Balancely Team - Amelia Wigglesworth, Dominic Hall, Morgan Elkins, Charlotte Gayton, Benjamin Withnell and Danny Burrows – First Year Computer Science undergraduates. The team was awarded a £750 Engineers in Business Prize

Balancely is a digital platform that uses AI technology to organise work and life tasks during the day, providing a more balanced mix of both for the user. Amelia Wigglesworth from the Balancely team commented: "I’m really looking forward to continuing with the project, it has honestly been one of the few highlights of this locked-down term."

Positive Feedback

The EIBF prize challenged qualifying students to stretch to a further degree of professionalism in the development and pitching of their business ideas. The stimulus of the prize money and the further opportunities offered by the scheme galvanised students competitively to perform at a level that seriously impressed all who attended the event, including myself, the dragons and senior representatives from the York Science Park.

Heather Niven
Business and Innovation Consultant
University of York