The winners of the annual King’s College London entrepreneurial competition “Lion’s Den Challenge” were announced last week at the Grand Final that concluded the five month program. Now in our third year of partnership, InnoCentive has been privileged to contribute to this KCL initiative that challenges students and staff to build their own business ideas and consider entrepreneurship as a career path.
Eight finalists made it through an online judging round to pitch their business in front of a live audience and answer questions from an expert judging panel. The total prize fund on offer was £11,000: £10,000 for the Best Idea and £1,000 for the Best Pitch.
Best Idea went to CogniTracker: a team of six PhD students building a health app that monitors eye movements, speech and hand vibrations in order to assess users’ cognitive health. Through data collected they hope to be able to improve early-stage detection of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Their £10,000 prize will help the team develop their science, create their app and build connections with key organisations such as the NHS.
The winner of the Best Pitch was Attollo Lingerie with their range of lingerie that improves the shape and appeal of DD+ bras. The judges felt that the team of three best engaged the audience and delivered a persuasive argument for their business.
Lion’s Den Champion Michael Hill-King gave his insights on the final:
I’m proud of the commitment, dedication and entrepreneurialism of King’s students and staff in entering the Lion’s Den. Preparation through Lion’s Den workshops run by InnoCentive shone through as the remaining eight teams competed to win the accolades of Best Idea and Best Pitch. The College offers further support for all entrants, finalists and winners through Lion’s Den plus, demonstrating King’s College London’s commitment to supporting student and staff enterprises.
As part of the Challenge, InnoCentive delivered a 4-part workshop series that helped educate the budding entrepreneurs and prepare them not only for the final event, but also for when they take their businesses into the real world. These workshops covered skills such as marketing, finance, intellectual property, pitching and writing a business plan. A mentor network was created and InnoCentive called upon its links in the start-up and venture capitalist community to ensure the successful running of the Challenge and provide external expertise to help guide entrants.
Once again, congratulations to the winners – CogniTracker and Attollo!
Authored by Michael Franklin, Project Manager