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Winners announced for Lion's Den Challenge 2015

Posted on 30/03/2015

The winners of the Lion’s Den Challenge 2015 were announced last week at the Grand Final, marking the end of a series of interactive masterclass workshops held over the last two semesters. Hosted in the Great Hall by Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation) Chris Mottershead, eight finalists battled it out to pitch their business ideas to an expert judging panel, in a bid to take home a share of the £11,000 prize money. 

The first of the two prizes awarded for the Best Idea category, worth £5,000 each, went to  second-year Robotics PhD student Agostino Stilli, who also took home the £1, 000 for Best Pitch, for his business CYCL Winglights, a company providing practical safety innovation for cyclists. The other prize for Best Idea was awarded to consultant paediatrician Tamara Bugembe for her company Helper Bees Ltd, an initiative set up to deliver short-term care for families with new babies.

The Social Enterprise award of the evening went to Richard Millburn, a third-year PhD student in the Department of War Studies, for his idea to launch the Conservation Crises Board Game. Other ideas pitched from the 2015 finalists included practical resources for carers of dementia sufferers, artificial virus technology to revolutionise vaccine production, and help for Chinese visitors and students to find out information about London. 

Now in its eighth year, the Lion’s Den Challenge aims to foster a culture of entrepreneurship, equipping the King’s community with practical business skills to enable them to launch their own entrepreneurial ventures.  A joint initiative between the Research Management Directorate and King’s Graduate School, the Challenge provides staff and students with the opportunity to turn their business ideas into a reality, with a thematic programme of masterclasses and experienced mentors on hand to support the entrant teams. 

Michael Hill-King, Director of Partnerships & Consultancy, said: ‘Last week we enjoyed listening to eight great pitches – each one representing the vision of someone at King’s. We are especially grateful to the mentors who faithfully support our entrepreneurs.’ 

Following last year’s success, Lion’s Den + is returning to advance the business skills of King’s entrepreneurs further and includes an entrepreneurial boot camp and one-to-one mentoring sessions. Lion’s Den + is open to all entrants, including non-finalists.

Visit the Lion’s Den Challenge website for more information on this year’s competition and other opportunities for entrepreneurs. 

For further information on entrepreneurship activities at King’s, please contact

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