The stakes are always high at the Idea Factory Pitch-Off – 10 pitches, 3 judges and £6000 up for grabs to help turn an idea into a reality.
This year’s finalists sought to solve a diverse range of real-world problems, from agritech to health and beauty, community tech to medtech innovations. Each idea represented a practical solution based on sound validation and market research as well as clearly defined founder-market-fit.
While the decision of who gets a share of the prize pot is always a difficult one, this year the judges, David Walsh (Entrepreneur in Residence and Managing Director of Flamefinch), Ezechi Britton MBE (CTO Principal of Impact X) and Kay Kukoyi (CEO & Founder of Purposeful Group) decided at the last moment that not only would they award more winners, but also increase the prize money to further the finalist’s innovative ideas.
The quality of the pitches tonight was really fantastic. A lot of work’s gone in there; it’s very difficult to distil an idea and all the questions that come around that as a business, in 3 minutes.
Following on from that, the judges found it very difficult to actually decide who were the winners. Overall, we were focusing in on you as entrepreneurs, your characteristics, your leadership qualities, and your enthusiasm and your passion that we wanted to see, and also focusing in on the idea and how well thought through that was and articulated it was, so well done to all.– David Walsh (Entrepreneur in Residence and Managing Director of Flamefinch)
We were really impressed and really interesting as well the range of different ideas in there, the way you are using the knowledge you’ve gained from your degrees to find these real-world problems, so very impressive this year.– Kay Kukoyi (CEO & Founder of Purposeful Group)
This year’s Idea Factory winners are:
EVYN: A consultation management and meal planning software focusing on food over calorie goals. EVYN helps dietitians run effective consultations with patients, utilising culturally inclusive visual learning and storytelling, thereby providing meaningful & culturally relevant care - Olutosin Kirya (MSc. Nutrition Sciences)
Researcher Searcher: a search-engine that can help users find the right researchers, given any piece of text. - Gemma Archer (Epidemiologist, Institute of Psychiatry Psychology & Neuroscience) and Ben Elsworth
Re•sept: Modern, performance-driven haircare brand inspired by ancient principles to address the root of common hair concerns at the scalp - Shikha Ramjutan (MPharm, Pharmacy 2018)
Reperio: We help doctors diagnose early-stage psychotic disorders with a quick, smartphone–recorded speech task. Julianna Olah (PhD, Data Science and Health) and Win Lee Edwin Wong (PhD, Genetics of Mental Health)
In addition to the expert panel of judges, the EI opened the vote so its community could choose a winner for the People's Choice award. The winner will receive £2000 in funding to make their idea a reality, 12 months of mentoring with our Head of Entrepreneurial Skills and experts-in-residence as well as a potential fast-track to a King's20 Accelerator interview.
The winner is:
Mami: a mobile application and SMS service to help women living in Nigeria identify breast cancer symptoms early, and promptly connect to appropriate care and support through an accessible, confidential, and convenient platform- Mercy Ofuya (PhD, Medical Statistics 2016)