Student Start-up Showcase celebrates budding entrepreneurs

  • Date

    Thu 25 May 23

Temini Ayo Kasumu

Inspiring student and graduate entrepreneurs were celebrated at the University of Essex’s first Student Start-up Showcase organised by the Essex Startups team.

The evening gave student and graduate founders the opportunity to showcase their businesses and share their achievements with awards presented across six categories.

On the night budding entrepreneurs shared their business stories with members of the University’s senior management team, academics, students, graduates, and local enterprise experts.

The event was hosted by the Innovation Centre on the University’s Knowledge Gateway research and technology park at the Colchester Campus and culminated with the awards ceremony, which included a special People’s Choice Award voted for on the night by guests.

Graduates Chantelle Bell, founder of Syrona Health, and Ben Smyth and Chris Frogner, founders of Arma Karma, kicked-off the ceremony with keynote speeches about their experiences as business founders since leaving the University. 

Andy Mew, Head of Start-up Support, said “It was a pleasure to put a spotlight on the students and graduates we have supported, and share their successes with the wider University. Events like this demonstrate the importance of celebrating success to allow the next generation of innovators to see what’s possible and inspire them to pursue the entrepreneurial support available at Essex.”

Our Winners

Click on a name and discover more about their start-up journey

Most Innovative Start-up

Charlotte Moore: Spike Savers – overshoe for athletic spikes. Charlotte is in her final year of her BSc Sport and Exercise Science.

Most Sustainable Start-up

Temini Ayo-Kasumu: Eiia - sustainable alternatives supporting feminine care. Temini completed a LLB Law at Essex and has also completed a LPC.

Best Tech Start-up

Madina Kadyrova and Alexey Kurnosov: After-Time Combat – innovative VR gaming. Madina graduated with a BSc in Mathematics and Alexey graduated with BA in Sociology and Counselling.

Best Graduate Start-up

Camila Fernanda Valenzuela Arriagada and Sebastian Flores: Learn to Learn – personalised English language learning. Camila graduated in Linguistics from Essex.

One to Watch

McCartney Aldous: Student PT – personal training service for students. McCartney completed a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science at Essex.

People’s Choice Award

Temini Ayo-Kasumu: Eiia - sustainable alternatives supporting feminine care

More about the awards

Winner of the Most Sustainable Start-up and the People’s Choice Award categories was Temini Ayo-Kasumu, founder of Eiia. Temini said “Sustainability is at the heart of my business, so I was delighted to win in this category. Receiving this accolade validates my achievements to date and confirms the importance of my mission.

“Winning the People’s Choice Award was the highlight of the evening for me and came as a real shock! To be recognised by my peers and the wider innovation community is a genuine honour and motivates me to continue on my entrepreneurial journey.”

The Essex Startups team, based at Studio X in the Innovation Centre, supports students and graduates who are interested in starting their own business and want to discuss, develop, test and launch their ideas. Throughout the year the team deliver workshops, advice sessions and special activities focused on developing entrepreneurial skills.

Essex Startups now intends to make this event an annual fixture in the University calendar to promote the hard work and dedication of our students and graduates in launching their own businesses.