Essex Startups showcases amazing new businesses

  • Date

    Thu 9 May 24

Students and graduates at the Essex Startups Showcase

The inspirational students and graduates who have started their own businesses thanks to support from Essex Startups were the centre of attention at the annual Student Start-up Showcase.

Student and graduate founders showcased their businesses and shared their achievements at the special event hosted by the Innovation Centre on our Knowledge Gateway research and technology park at our Colchester Campus.

And they also got the chance to hear from incredible entrepreneurial graduates Ankit Mehrotra, founder of Dineout, and Abisola Bright, founder of Polishpad, who gave keynote speeches about their experiences of establishing their own businesses after leaving Essex.

Awards were presented across five categories, recognising exceptional dedication to innovation and social enterprise. The awards shine a spotlight on individuals who have gone above and beyond to develop their business ideas and strive to make a difference in the world.

The evening also allowed the students and graduates to share their entrepreneurial journeys and network with members of senior University staff, academics, students, graduates, and the local business community.

Lauren Gräeve, Student Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Manager, said: “This year’s Student Showcase was a fantastic evening celebrating the hard work and dedication of students and graduates fulfilling their ambitions.

"The Essex Startups team is dedicated to providing opportunities for our community of budding entrepreneurs to thrive and connect. Events such as this offer a platform to inspire, reflect, and share in one another’s successes.”

Abi Bright said: “The room was filled with passion, creativity, and an unwavering drive to make a difference. Congratulations to all who participated, your energy and innovation is truly inspiring.”


Trailblazer Category for innovation driven start-up

Ben Mendrys: Wattboxx Innovations Ltd - Ben is developing technology that utilises human energy expenditure to contribute to powering health and fitness facilities.

Digital Dynamo Category for technology services that are harnessing different methods, systems and devices

Wang Hai Feng: FireRoom - Wang's business is based around a multi-platform online games convention that uses the latest cloud computing technologies to connect gamers across the world through their PCs, smartphones, and game consoles.

The Mastermind Category for start-ups that have been formed by a recent graduate (five years) of the University of Essex

Noah Pantano: Pantano & Co. - Noah has created a LGBTQ+ theatre company focusing on creating new plays alongside charity outreach and advocacy work.

The One to Watch Category for an early stage up and coming business

Daniella Opoku-Acheampong: Town of Tawiah – Daniella has developed a research-based video production company providing social commentary that challenges limited understandings of the black community by analysing its intersecting identities.

People’s Choice Award Category - voted for by the audience at the event

Wang Hai Feng: FireRoom

Dedicated to innovation and entrepreneurship

Noah Pantano, winner of The Mastermind award, said “Winning this award is recognition for all the work my cast, crew and I have put into the creation of my theatre company - the passion, the time, the tears, and the stress!”

Working with Essex Startups has been amazing, they have been so supportive of my company and my ideas. I feel as though I can see the future of where my company is heading because of Essex Startups.”

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.

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