Jun 2013 20

CUE wrapped up one of its most successful business creation competitions at the Grand Finale last evening. This year saw a total of over 300 entries throughout the year and a 50% increase in the number of entries for the final 5K stage of the competition.

The evening began with an opening address from John Bird, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Big Issue, and included talks from Mike Lynch, Founder of Invoke Capital and Autonomy and Nils Frers, Founder of studentreadinglists and last year’s CUE winner for Software Start-up of the Year, Carpe Diem Young Entrepreneur of the Year and the Angel prize.

14 Finalist teams also got the chance to pitch their ideas to a panel of Dragons – Darrin Disley, Paul Anson and David Richards – in a fast paced Dragon’s Den segment, with a special Angel Prize up for grabs.

Over £30,000 of cash and £5,000 of in-kind awards were given out last night. Apart from the rise in quantity of entries, the quality of entries was also significantly improved. With so many strong entries, the judges decided to award 2 prizes for Technology Start-up of the Year and 3 (instead of 2) prizes for Carpe Diem Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

The winners are:

Technology Start-up of the Year


Microencapsulation is currently a multi-billion-per-annum industry with established applications in food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, and personal care products. The current unmet consumer demand is to produce sustainable and inexpensive capsules that can be triggered to release bio-macromolecules. To address this critical industry challenge over the next decades, AQDOT has developed an innovative technology to produce microcapsules with greatly simplified manufacturing procedure and unprecedented ability to encapsulate and release enzymes, antibodies and other high value materials. We are currently building a prototype for the consumer products that will act as a demonstrator for the many other possible applications.


Reconstructive surgeries represent a significant component of any major hospital’s operating theatre load. Whether reconstruction is required due to trauma, occupational accidents, cancer or congenital deformities, one of a variety of surgical flaps is likely to be used. These surgical approaches have revolutionised patient care but, despite clinicians’ best efforts, are associated with a well recognised failure rate. Failure of a surgical flap can be disastrous for the patient due the the addition of donor site morbidity on top of morbidity due to the failed reconstruction. However, flaps that can be identified as ‘struggling’ before they reach critical failure can be salvaged. Our product would enable clinicians to monitor the health of a flap from the inside out, changing the way reconstructive surgery is performed forever. Through the use of an implantable device, surgeons would receive real time feedback on the health of their patient’s reconstruction. This in turn would enable highly informed clinical decision making leading to better patient outcomes. Simply, ambiguity would be replaced by knowledge. In medical practice that is a powerful commodity.

Software Start-up of the Year


MyTeech is an online educational software system that allows lecturers to host in-lecture quizzes that students can respond to on their mobile devices. Additionally, the system allows students to push real-time feedback to lecturers regarding their level of teaching, which can be used for appraisal purposes. This has been shown to greatly boost the engagement levels of students and to increase the interaction level in lectures. With student ownership of smartphones tending towards 100%, this eliminates the need for expensive hardware devices, whilst enhancing education with modern technologies. Since launching in February, 20 lecturers have signed up for the system across four universities throughout Europe, and over 500 students have used MyTeech as part of their daily teaching.

Social Enterprise Start-up of the Year

Nutriservices Healthcare

According to Dietitians in Obesity Management the obesity problem has dramatically changed the weight management field, causing urgent reconsideration of dietetic practices. Nutri-Services Healthcare (NuSH) is a cost-saving intervention against the escalating problem of obesity in the UK. It is an online weight loss and health management system including professional dietetic care. NuSH also provides evidence-based research to effect policy and public health changes.

Carpe Diem Life Science Start-up of the Year


Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in adults and affects over 28 million people worldwide. However, there are currently no biomarker tests for pre-symptomatic detection of the disease. We are developing a diagnostic and prognostic blood test for use in individuals at risk of Alzheimer’s disease. This test will be used at first by the pharmaceutical industry to facilitate drug discovery, and later for early diagnosis and for monitoring the subsequent evolution of the disease in elderly patients.  We are seeking £2.2 million seed- funding for start-up cost, initial clinical trials and the development of a screening platform.

Carpe Diem Young Entrepreneurs of the Year

Fraser Atkins (MyTeech)

Elliott Verreault (Project Policy)

Theo Nanidis (ChiroCam)

Angel Prize winner

Fraser Atkins (MyTeech)


Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to all the participants! We hope to continue seeing you on the Coventry entrepreneurship scene next year!

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