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Two Teams of UCL entrepreneurs reach the final of the Mayor’s Entrepreneur Competition 2018

By Joe S Sprecher, on 30 April 2018

UCL team Cardios present their ideas to the panel.

UCL team Cardios present their ideas to the panel.

Each year, the Mayor of London’s Entrepreneurs competition challenges London students to think of innovative ways to build a more sustainable city. By identifying and supporting student entrepreneurs to make their projects into reality, student’s ideas are helping make London a greener capital.

This year’s competition saw ten teams and their eco-friendly ideas compete to win £20,000 and access to expert mentoring and guidance. Selected from over 400 submissions, two teams of UCL student finalists, Cardios and Chakra, represented their ideas to a panel of industry experts, demonstrating the value of their ideas through their originality, practicality, clarity, longevity and carbon efficiency.

Chaired by sustainability expert Carolyn Roberts, the all-star panel included Innocent Drinks co-founder Richard Reed, Deputy Mayor for Environment Shirley Rodrigues and technology and social enterprise leader Anne-Marie Imafidon.

Cardios, made up of two UCL medical students, Gabriel Lee, Ragav Manimaran and teammate Jaime Valedemoros, seek to use new bio-medical technology to help people with heart failure self-monitor their conditions and reduce hospital admissions. This in turn would reduce the NHS resources spent on admissions and subsequent emissions. In their words:

“The essence of our project is, can we bring the consultation to patients more regularly and reduce the gaps between consultations? By doing so, can we detect deterioration earlier and prevent patients being admitted?”- Ragav Manimaran, Cardios

Chakra, a team of three first year UCL students aim to tackle waste produced by disposable coffee cups by replacing them with re-useable cups that provide users with cashback when deposited at dedicated machines. This would help reduce the vast amount of waste produced by on-the-go coffee, while providing incentives for drinks distributors. When asked about the idea’s reception among big chains such as Costa and Starbucks, Harshav Mahendran had this to say:

“They were positive about the idea and saw it as a welcome solution” – Harshav Mahendran

Although the award went to Imperial’s WithLula, an eco-friendly, flushable sanitary pad, the two UCL teams are positive about what the future holds for their projects. Both teams are at an early state in development but they assure us that more is on the way.

“As we continue to develop the prototype, we’ll publish our progress so please do watch this space and we’ll keep you updated.” Ragav Manimaran, Cardios

“Since we’re just getting started we haven’t established our website or social media yet but we’re hoping to soon.” – Yashvini Shukla, Chakra

With next year’s awards being expanded to include three winners, it is clear that innovation and entrepreneurship are becoming increasing valued in the London careers landscape.

Have a project or idea you want to take to the next level? There are a range of resources on offer for UCL students such as the Moonshot Launchpad programme for engineering, science and tech startups, UCL Entrepreneurs Society (UCLe) and the Kickstart London accelerator programme. Whatever career awaits you, be sure to check out the new UCL Careers website to find advice and resources helping you developing your skills and experiences.

For more information about the Mayor’s Entrepreneur Competition click here – https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/environment/smart-london-and-innovation/mayors-entrepreneur-competition

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