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03 March 2022

King's20 start-ups recognised for entrepreneurial leadership

This year's David Walsh Awards celebrated entrepreneurial leadership and King's founders as industry leaders.


The Entrepreneurship Institute’s grant programme, the David Walsh Awards 2022 was designed to champion and celebrate the demonstration of entrepreneurial leadership by the King’s20 Accelerator cohort. As part of their applications, we asked the ventures to tell us about how they have shown entrepreneurial leadership and demonstrate how they have shown leadership within their industry and how management has contributed to their learnings, pivots, and successes to date.  

The Awards are made possible due to the generosity of David Walsh, a highly successful and experienced CEO in the tech sector and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Entrepreneurship Institute. He began his career at IBM and went on to found Crimsonwing, an international software and services business that was acquired by KPMG in 2015. As Entrepreneur-in-Residence, David helps advise and mentor the 20 selected start-ups on the King’s20 Accelerator programme. In 2020, David was presented the Helen Hudson Award as part of the King’s Distinguished Alumni Awards for his exemplary contribution to the university.

We themed the David Walsh Awards this year on entrepreneurial leadership and team work, and once again it was a real challenge choosing the winners from the shortlisted businesses. Many of our start-ups this year have been wrestling not just with ‘normal’ business challenges, but also with those caused by the pandemic, Brexit, and much more. But in adapting and coping with these extra challenges we heard great examples of leadership and teamwork being applied to build sustainable business models. Well done to all our shortlisted business and a big thank you to my fellow judges, Kristen Comer and Phill Blundell for their wise words.

David Walsh (Entrepreneur in Residence and Managing Director of Flamefinch)

This year’s awards saw a total of £20,000 awarded to four of the King’s20 ventures to empower them to create a positive impact and fuel their businesses.

And the winners are…

Coolzen: an innovative device for menopausal women suffering hot flashes offering relief by automatically detecting the onset of a hot flash, bringing relief to the user and repeating the process every single time.

They will use the grant to continue to pay for the technical development of their product. 

The Page Doctor: An academic platform that connects PhD researchers with university students, to provide tailored educational support.

They will use the grant to scale their content production and reach larger audiences. 

The Art Unit: A curated digital platform; promoting the work of emerging artists, and allowing buyers access to unique artworks.

They will use the grant to enable the business to continue developing and growing by developing their marketing strategy.

Smile: an app that offers customers practical mental health support through bite-sized written, audio and video content delivered by clinical experts.

Emma, a solo founder, will use the grant to outsource and delegate administrative tasks, allowing her to use her leadership skills more strategically.