Mar 2012 12

Thank you to all those who took part in CUE’s £5K training! We hope that the session gave you a better understanding of the different aspects of a business plan and we wish that you can translate this knowledge into winning entries in our 5K Challenge.

If you would like to refresh yourself on the various talks, you can download the audio recordings and slides from the links below.


Talk 1: What a judge expects to see in the £5K competition.

Talk 2: Conducting effective market research.

Talk 3: Dealing with general legal issues.


Talk 1: What a judge expects to see in the £5K competition

Talk 2: Conducting effective market research

Talk 3: Financing your business

Talk 4: Dealing with general legal issues

Talk 5: Intellectual property

Mar 2012 08

You can now register to enter the CUE £5k Competition by following in the steps in the registration form:

CUE £5k Competition Registration Form

Please make sure you complete all tasks outlined in the form above to ensure a valid entry!

The deadline is 5pm, Friday, 27th April 2012. All forms (electronic and hard-copy) must be RECEIVED by the deadline.


Mar 2012 08

Follow the easy steps below to find a mentor for your team.
Step 1: Decide that you will enter the CUE £5K competition.
Step 2: Write a short summary of your business idea (around 100 words)
Step 3: Decide what kind of expertise in a mentor that you are looking for (Market research, Finance, Legal Issues, IP or others)
Step 4: Send your short summary with the requested mentor specialty to
Step 5: CUE will pair you up with a mentor whose specialty matches your requests.
Step 6: Write to the mentor and arrange a convenient time and venue for your meeting.

Feb 2012 23










By Nicholas Tan

Over 150 people gathered at the Wolfson lecture theatre last night to listen to business ideas of some of the brightest young minds Cambridge has to offer at Cambridge University Entrepreneurs’ (CUE) £1k awards ceremony.

Last night’s event marked the close of CUE’s £1k business plan sub-competition, which required entrants to submit executive summaries of their business ideas in not more than 1500 words. This year’s competition received an unprecedented number of entries, which more than doubled the number from last year. Despite the large increase in quantity, David Gill, Managing Director of St John’s Innovation Centre and one of the competition judges, was quick to point out that the quality of the submissions remained impressive.

The event was kicked off with a keynote speech from Prof Ian White, master of Jesus College, who highlighted CUE’s business plan competition as a key part of the University’s efforts to support entrepreneurship at various levels, be it spin-outs, spawn-outs or snuck-outs.

Ready, get set, pitch! The exciting and fast-paced pitching segment allowed participants up to 75 seconds to share their business ideas, which ranged from designer genetic solutions to a device that allows for advertising on bicycle wheels. Participants used a variety of techniques to capture the attention of the audience during their 75 seconds of fame, including the use of videos, props and even a live demonstration of their technology.

As the pitching session drew to a close, we reached the climax of the night, where the £1k award winners were announced. This year saw an unprecedented number of prizes being handed out, with 7 winners, 8 runner-ups, as well as prizes for the best pitch and best poster. In total, over £7000 in cash and over £11000 worth of patent database subscriptions were handed out to our winners.

The award winners of this year’s £1k business plan competition are:

£1k prize winners: Cambridge Biocompatibility, CamPores, RealiaWind, Old Bond, Wedu, Green Tutor, Cambridge Interactive Video Solutions

£1k runner ups: Cambridge Stem cell Systems, Heliomobil, TPS Limited, Shuruat Mobility, Simple Tax Calculator, Collide, Hopskip, VocallQ

Best pitch: Cedric Deur representing StuStu

Best poster: Self-Cervix

As the participants look towards the upcoming £5k business plan competition and beyond, John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, encouraged them to pay greater attention to their presentation skills and to show greater enthusiasm and clarity when pitching their ideas, which will be important when seeking investor funding for their businesses.

Also, Dr Andy Richards, founding member of the Cambridge Angels and serial entrepreneur, urged participants to think about whether they just want to win the business plan competition or to actually start a business. If they seek the latter, he cautioned that a considerable amount of effort is required to implement a business plan and bring it to fruition.

We hope to see more brilliant and exciting entries in our £5k competition, which opens on the 7th of March.

CUE would like to thank our generous sponsors for their support, without which this event would have never been possible.

Gold sponsors: Horizon Discovery, EPSRC, Carpe Diem, ARM

Silver sponsor: Redgate

Bronze sponsors: Cambridge Science Park, Ensors

We would also like to thank CambridgeIP for sponsoring the patent database subscriptions.

Feb 2012 22

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

Cambridge Biocompatibility

Cambridge 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 (, 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.

Cambridge 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. Cambridge 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 Cambridge University Entrepreneur’s £1K challenge are (in no particular order):

Cambridge Stem cell Systems

Cambridge 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 Cambridge 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.

Jan 2012 20

Due to a large number of requests for more time to finish the executive summary, We are postponing the 1K competition deadline to 5pm, 23rd of January, 2012. If you have not yet submitted your entry, grab this chance to win £1000.

Follow the steps in the registration form: CUE £1k Competition Registration Form

Please make sure you complete all tasks outlined in the form above to ensure a valid entry!

All forms (electronic and hard-copy) must be RECEIVED by the deadline.

The winners will be announced in the CUE £1k Award Ceremony on Wednesday, 22nd February 2012. Teams will be presenting posters of their business proposals and it is also your opportunity to be matched with a CUE mentor! Sign up now!

Jan 2012 10

The wait is over!

You can now register to enter the CUE £1k Competition by following in the steps in the registration form:

CUE £1k Competition Registration Form

Please make sure you complete all tasks outlined in the form above to ensure a valid entry!

The deadline is 5pm, Friday, 20th January 2012. All forms (electronic and hard-copy) must be RECEIVED by the deadline.

The winners will be announced in the CUE £1k Award Ceremony on Wednesday, 22nd February 2012. Winning teams will be presenting posters of their business proposals and it is also your opportunity to be matched with a CUE mentor! Sign up now!

Dec 2011 08

What more can you do before submitting your executive summary?

Come join us for a free training!

Proudly presented by CUE:

The Entrepreneurs’ £1K Competition

Second Training Event

Date and Time: 14:00-17:00 Monday, 16 January, 2011

Location: Lecture Room 4 (LR4), Department of Engineering

Register at:

Dr. Darrin Disley, one of our competition judges is dedicating half a day to help you make your executive summary better before the competition closes on 20th January. Don’t miss your chance to increase your odds of winning the 1K competition!

Dr Darrin Disley is CEO of Horizon Discovery Ltd, the fast growing Cambridge-based company that provides research tools to support the development of personalized cancer medicines. A Cambridge alumni with a PhD in Biotechnology, Darrin is now an experienced and successful parallel entrepreneur who has been involved in the start-up and growth of ten high-tech business ventures.

The £1k Competition – What’s the market?

SubmissionDeadline: 20thJanuary, 2012 11:59pm

Winners Announced at the £1k Awards Ceremony:22February,2012

Our second competition is about you developing your business opportunity and writing an executive summary of no more than 1500 words. The £1k prizes are awarded to well‐presented propositions that show clear market potential and competitive advantages.You will need to clearly identify and quantify your market niche.Upto 10 cash prizes of £1k each will be awarded and winners and runners-up get free entry to £5k Competition.

Details of the submission can be found on

Nov 2011 24

Thanks for all who made the £1k Training Event last night!

The video of the judges’ talk is available for viewing now with the slides downloadable here.

Part I

Part II

Nov 2011 16

This year we are giving a way 5 additional prizes of £100!

Are you one of the lucky 25? If not, don’t fret. Join the £1k Competition opening on 23rd November 2011 to win £1000 prizes!

(Winners are in alphabetical order based on the idea name.)


Oct 2011 13

Submission deadline extended for 24 hours!

You have until 23:59 of 26th October 2011 to submit your entry here.

Submit multiple entries to increase your chance of winning!

Want some inspirations? Check out last year’s winning entries.