Student sport start-ups backed by innovative business fund

  • Date

    Wed 21 Sep 22

Lauren Graeve

Student sports innovators have had their fledging firms backed by a new fund that supports new start-ups.

The money went to University of Essex scholars in the School of Sport, Rehabilitation, and Exercise Sciences with budding business plans.

Three pots of £3,000 to each business were given away by Essex Startups with a device that generates electricity from workouts, overshoes for athletic spikes, and a scouting programme for released football players all securing cash. 

Ben Mendrys, a Sports Performance and Coaching student, was thrilled his gym battery innovation was backed. 

He said: “I’m so pleased to have been part of this event, it was a great opportunity to be able to pitch for funding to help get my business off the ground.

“The funding awarded is going to help me build a prototype of my product and do the necessary testing to enable me to take my business to the next stage.

“The support I’ve received from the SRES and Startups teams has reinforced my belief in my business idea and I’m excited for the next stage of the process.”

The Dragon’s Den-style event saw the students pitch plans to a panel of three in-house entrepreneurial experts for investment.

Each business will now work on its proposal and use the cash to kick-start its development.

All winners will have regular business support meetings with an advisor and are also encouraged to join workshops that are hosted throughout the academic year.

They will also have a chance to enter an early mentorship programme known as Evolve in the Spring term.

Lauren Gräeve, Student Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Manager, said: “The pitch event displayed a lot of talent and enthusiasm from our young entrepreneurs and the judging panel, made up of myself, Alexa Gordon-Enterprise Officer and Magdalena Mahdy- Entrepreneur in Residence were impressed with the level of pitching they saw on the day.  

“We were delighted to be able to award three of the entrepreneurs and we look forward to continuing to develop and support them along their business journey.”

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