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Lion's Den 2013 winners

Posted on 27/03/2013

The winners (CHAZ) with Chris Mottershead, Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation) at King's College London

Winners of the annual King’s College London Lion’s Den programme were announced last week, with eight finalists pitching their ideas to the judging panel, competing for a total prize fund of £19,000.

In its sixth year, the competition included two categories aimed at rewarding innovate business ideas and creative solutions to global issues – Lion’s Den Challenge and World Question’s | Lion’s Den answers.

In the Lion’s Den Challenge category Sitali Mushemi-Blake, Sitara Khan, and Yiwen Liu won both the £6,000 ‘Best Idea’ and £3,000 ‘Collegiality’ prizes with their business plan for ‘Cardiac Health Across Zambia (CHAZ)’, a social enterprise aimed at improving the standard and delivery of healthcare in Zambia by expanding the availability of cardiac services. Ashleigh Mackenzie and Giles Strachan won ‘Best Pitch’ for their business plan ‘A Little Knowledge’, a historical research consultancy offering historical reports to commercial media and public sector clients.

New to 2013, the World Question’s | Lion’s Den answers category challenged students to respond to the question: ‘As increasing world powers, how can the BRIC countries use their influence for world good?’ Supporting this were three expert seminars than ran parallel to the Lion’s Den Challenge workshops and explored the concept of world good and the past, present and future of the BRIC nations. 

Alex Belsham-Harris won the £5,000 ‘Best Idea’ prize in the World Question’s | Lion’s Den answers category for his framework of the local, national and international actions that China, India and other emerging Asian economies can take to enable rice production to have lower methane emissions, higher yield and more resilience in the face of climate change.

The Lion's Den finalists

The Lion’s Den programme aims to equip postgraduate students and postdoctoral research staff at King’s with essential business skills and knowledge, as well as providing a launch pad for entrepreneurs to make their business ideas reality. The programme included a series of workshops that covered business skills, marketing, finance and how to write a business plan.

Michael Hill-King, sponsor of the Lion’s Den Challenge and Director of Partnerships and Consultancy at King’s, said: ‘It’s great to see such big ideas and entrepreneurial spirit coming through Lion’s Den each year. As well as nurturing the business skills and commercial acumen of King’s researchers and postgraduate students, Lion’s Den provides a fantastic platform for turning ideas into a reality.

‘This year, for the first time, we’re continuing this support by introducing Lion’s Den + to our activities, which goes one step further by not only offering a reward to competition winners, but also providing Intellectual Property advice, business support, starter boot-camp and networking opportunities to all competition participants.’

The Lion’s Den programme is a joint initiative by King’s Business and Innovation and King’s Graduate School.

Notes to editors

Visit the Lion’s Den Challenge website for more details on this year’s competition.

For further information on entrepreneurship activities at King’s please contact and follow us on Twitter @innovatekings.

For further information about King’s visit our ‘King’s in Brief’ page.

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