Feb 2012 22

The winners of the Coventry University Entrepreneur’s £1K challenge are (in no particular order):

Coventry Biocompatibility

Coventry Biocompatibility is developing new bio-compatible coatings for all forms of orthopedic and prosthetic surgery that will increase the lifetime by at least a factor of five and reduce recovery and aftercare costs by a factor of 10. Total product lifetime savings will be the major pricing driver for this new portfolio of biocompatible coatings. We are requesting £100,000 venture capital and expect a company valuation of £60million within 5 years.


Ultracapacitors and pharmaceutical filters underlie very different industries, but are the most promising applications of our technology – a method to produce a novel nanoporous material. The manufacturing process is cheap, quick and easily scalable and the pore size can be reliably tuned from 5-100nm with a high degree of uniformity across the substrate. In polymeric form, the substrate has already attracted interest from leading filtration companies. As a porous metal-oxide, it will be a key component of hybrid ultracapacitors, a fast growing industry with applications in grid management and hybrid cars.  Other applications include fuel cells and enhanced Lithium-ion batteries.


Reliability is vital in the growth of the wind industry, especially offshore, and to realise EU’s targets for 2020. ReliaWind has developed a novel and patent-pending condition-monitoring system for wind turbine drivetrains, enabling 40% reduced maintenance cost for offshore installations. The product, comprising a number of sensors and the analysis hardware/software, offers straightforward retrofit into new wind tur-bines as well as existing ones. This is a relatively new market and we expect to take a 5.5% market share by 2017, equivalent to installation onto 2500 turbines per year, generating revenues of £60 million.

Old Bond

We are a start-up offering the world’s first spinning animated ads on bicycle wheels; a real breakthrough in outdoor advertising. Being environmentally friendly, we will use an innovative system, Video Pro, to transfer video-clips, images and animated logos from a computer onto the bike wheels. With such new technology transforming a bike into a work of art, drivers can run an ad on any path or put it at some popular spot around the city. It would be hard to create better advertising for businesses, concerts, festivals or cultural events than eye-catching ads on running or stationary bikes.


Local leadership is critical for local development. Wedu provides education financing options and mentorship for underprivileged university students with high leadership potential in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), especially girls. We seek to initiate a positive cycle of building and developing local leadership talent by identifying students committed to working on local issues, helping them to complete university and giving them access to a global network of mentors. When students return to serve their communities, they become mentors to other future leaders while repaying the financing received into a revolving fund to serve more students.

Green Tutor

GreenTUTOR provides a platform for online training. We focus on the sustainable built environment. Market research indicates rapid growth of the £9bn global e-learning market of which our target segment –e-learning teaching– showed the highest growth. GreenTUTOR has access to over 350 researchers and professionals in the area of sustainable development through an established network (www.greenbridge.org.uk), which will be our starting point to enter this market. Thanks to easy access to Ivy League Tutors, we benefit from low barriers to entry. Our proposed tuition service, flexible, virtual, one-to-one and multilingual, enables global outreach and thus high-growth rates for this venture.

Coventry Interactive Video Solutions

Video data is increasingly used for research, performance analysis and documenting personal events. More than 48 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube every minute. Coventry Interactive Video Solutions uses interactive video segmentation technology developed at the CUED to provide tools for cutting out objects in videos with arbitrary backgrounds, and analysing their properties. Revolutionary machine learning algorithms progressively understand the need of the user from only a few mouse strokes. Cut-outs are used for scientic studies: animal behavioural studies, live cell image sequence analysis, performance analysis of sportsmen: pose, motion patterns, general public video editing applications: object removal, enhancement, annotation.

The runners-up of the Coventry University Entrepreneur’s £1K challenge are (in no particular order):

Coventry Stem cell Systems

Coventry Stem Cell Systems will become the major supplier of custom-made human brain neural stem cells and functional neural tissues to academia, biotech and pharmaceutical industries. We will provide solutions to establish patient cell-based systems for brain disease modeling and drug screening by 1) generating a collection of patient-derived neural stem cell lines from common neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer and Parkinson’s diseases, and produce stem cell lines of rare diseases on demand; 2) producing optimized neural stem cell culture reagents and tools to suit the research; 3) providing consulting services to help design patient cell based drug discovery platforms.


Heliomobil makes affordable solar-tracking heliostats that are designed with the goal of increasing the yield of residential and small-scale commercial solar energy collection systems. Heliomobil’s core product supplements marketed solar collection technologies, enabling them to significantly accelerate return-on-investment through increased sunlight availability.

TPS Limited

With the development of more advance tablet coatings, there is an urgent need for stricter control over tablet coating thickness and evenness which can only be achieved with better analytical equipment. Terahertz-based imaging devices have recently been developed for studying pharmaceutical tablet coatings. These devices enable continuous, on-line monitoring of tablet coating thickness during the coating process, and can be fitted to existing manufacturing equipment without modifications. These benefits make them superior to currently utilized methods. As such, these devices will be able to rapidly penetrate the US$2.2 billion pharmaceutical analytical equipment market.

Shuruat Mobility

Launched in 2011, Shuruat is working in the field of product, service and delivery model design and innovation to target large, under-served segments at the bottom of the pyramid. Our first initiative, Shuruat Mobility, is focused on the design, development and marketing of an ecosystem of innovative assistive mobility devices, specialised educational programmes and micro-financing services for the physically disabled across rural India, Africa and the Middle-East, with the objective of delivering income generation opportunities and financial independence to them in a sustainable and scalable manner.

Simple Tax Calculator

Running a small business is difficult, and keeping records of sales and expenses over multiple years is time consuming. Business owners want to spent as much time as possible on their business and as little as possible on record keeping.
The Simple Tax Calculator is a convenient, easy to use tax calculation system that allows sole traders to keep a running total of their tax liability throughout the year.
This solution will revolutionise the way small businesses manage their records, keeping all the required information in one place, and allowing you to plan your tax liability year round.


Winners of the Silicon Valley comes to the UK Coventry Appathon, Collide creates new ways for friends to meet and interact by bringing Mobile, Local and Social together. Collide is a mobile application which tells you when your friends are close and suggests nearby places to hang out and grab a coffee, and as an added sweetener Collide also provides the user with money off vouchers for their favourite social spots.


HopSkip connects people when people want to be connected. HopSkip revolutionises how and when people are able to use their mobile phones. It does this by tunnelling connections through the latent mobile phone network on unused and available radio frequency bands. HopSkip utilises software embedded within the mobile phone to search, identify and connect to other roaming mobile phones until a connection with a network provider is achieved. As long as other mobile phones are in the vicinity and are HopSkip enabled, a connection through the latent mobile network to the real network will be established. This technology extends the coverage of existing networks substantially, allowing phone signals to be transmitted down into the London Underground, into concrete buildings and down alleyways. It also extends the boundaries of existing cell-sites considerably. Digital information literally hops and skips through other users mobile phones.

VocalIQ will become the leading provider of voice interfaces for computer systems. By using novel statistical models of dialogue, VocalIQ can dramatically improve the performance of voice-based systems. Possible applications include automated call centres, mobile applications and car-navigation systems.

Well done everybody! Look forward to receiving your entries in the £5K competition.

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