£1K Business Winners


Lighting consumes 20% of the world's electricity. White LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are much more energy efficient than incandescent light bulbs (~10 times) and fluorescent lights (~3 times). But, currently they are still too expensive! A 6W LED bulb (equivalent to a normal 60W incandescent bulb) costs ~$40. We are a research group based at the University of Coventry and we can make white LEDs 10 times cheaper than their current price, which would lead to a revolution of the world's lighting. The amount of energy we would save is tremendous, and so is our market!

Team Member: Lewis Liu


Industry observers estimate the current microreactor market to be worth approximately $100m globally. The market is being driven by the push for pharmaceutical and fine chemical producers to move to more efficient continuous processing methods already adopted by bulk chemical producers. Until now their smaller scale production has restricted the use of continuous processing but innovative microreactor technology can provide the answer.MicroDisk intends to utilise a patented extrusion process for forming micro-capillary films to make plastic microreactors. The advantages over current glass or metal-alloy microreactors are more than 40% lower costs and ease of scale-up to industrial capacities.

Team Members: Christina Karapataki, Peter Roth, Dr Bart Hallmark, Prof Malcolm Mackley

Enzima Pharmaceuticals

Enzima Pharmaceuticals is a for-profit social enterprise intent on transforming disease therapy and business. We plan to offer cost-effective small-molecule drug treatment for West Nile, dengue, and yellow fever- developing world diseases with limited Western interest. Our competitive advantage comes from our proprietary screening platform, which can optimize a novel drug candidate for all three diseases, while limiting the possibility of drug resistance. Our social-enterprise model, in turn, offers subsidized and streamlined drug therapy for afflicted patients in the developing world. Enzima thus offers a sustainable business practice that serves both patient and investor interests to significant returns on investment.

Team Members: Bilal Mahmood, Hamid Gari, Michael Vellat, Patrick Alderman


Over 1 billion people in the world lack access to clean drinking water. As a result of this a child dies every 15 seconds of water-borne diseases. We offer a cheap, simple and effective system for the purification of water and an innovative commercial scheme to deploy it to people in need.

Team Members: Sebastian Pattinson, Raina Brands

First Sword Media

First Sword aims to become a leading developer of browser-based social games.Our first game licenses a fantasy book series selling 2.3M+ copies. Players will buy digital cards, representing characters, abilities and items. Players will battle decks, trade to complete sets, and collect hundreds of cards to play personalised strategies.We run the books' community site, wiki and Facebook group: we can directly message 7,000+ qualified people. When 1,000 players pay $10 pcm, we are profitable. With 20,000 players, we earn $2.4M per year. With this revenue, we will acquire bigger licenses and attack the growing $720M social gaming market.

Team Members: Gareth Williams, Rahul Vohra, Bill Hunter


English learners often make different grammatical errors than native speakers, commonly known as English as Second Language (ESL) errors. As of today, no existing language tools systematically addresses and properly handles such errors. Gamma, Grammar without R (Recheck), is a proof-reading and grammar tuition solution specifically targeting English learners. Gamma is lightweight, fast and suitable for a wide range of applications. It is the ideal language tool for daily word processing. More importantly, Gamma can customize tuitions based on individuals' error pattern analyses, thus providing an innovative way for English learners to improve grammar and writing skills effectively.

Team Members: Lin Sun, Yichi Zhang, Yulan Zhou


SolarStar - Arnaud Bonin, Eva Martincova

Coventry Nanofilter - Sina Bonyadi, Ehsan Abdi, Malcolm Mackley, Krzysztof Koziol

Cryotherapeutics - Andrew L Lynch, Rongjun Chen, Nigel K H Slater

ShenelHealth - Shen Wei, Michelle Rigozzi, Michele Murez

African Innovation Prize (AIP) - Julia Fan Li, Manpreet Singh, Alex Handy

Clear Blue Solutions - Yan Lin Lye, Supriya Saraf, Krirtana Ahluwalia

Lalela Kahle - Beth Kahle, Richard Kahle

makespace - Jonathan Austin, Yuelin Li

BookWhack - Emma Thompson, Robert Boland, Marko Dukic

TRUEColours - Arun Jayapaul, Susie White