Plan B competition success 2011

The winners and runners-up of the University's annual Plan-B Innovation Competition were named at a business showcase and awards ceremony on 4th May 2011 hosted by the Birmingham Business School.

Winners

Amrit Chandan and Dan Symes, PhD students in the School of Chemical Engineering won the overall competition with their concept, "Vanilla HICE 2" or VH2. Amrit and Dan have developed a technique to increase fuel economy for internal combustion engines.

A product of their studies in the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research Centre, the research students had also constructed a convincing plan to take their innovation to market. The £1,000 prize money plus £1,000 worth of market research support, courtesy of Marketest, will help them take the concept to the next stage.

Runners-up

Second place (with £500) went to Joe Evans and Jess Lines, representing Kids Adventure, an existing local charitable organisation with big plans to go national. Joe and Jess's vision and passion for their organisation, which gives holidays and memorable experiences to local disadvantaged children, was highly praised by the judges.

The two other finalists, each winning £250 were James Buckley with a location-based technology and Jordan Warner who was proposing a novel approach to selling and displaying art works.

From sixty applications, twenty were chosen to present at the live 'pitching competition', in which four panels of business-savvy judges chose the finalists named above. The judges, including university staff, alumni and successful entrepreneurs were treated to a diverse range of innovative proposals, all delivered with great passion.

Lead judge and alumnus Jeremy Warren, CEO of Nanosight, announced the final results to a packed audience including students from the University's 'SPEED WM' business incubation programme, who were also showcasing their startups at the event.

Afterwards, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer, Professor Adam Tickell said of the event “I was delighted to attend the awards and showcase, to witness first-hand the range and depth of entrepreneurial activities of our students.  From charities to businesses, it was a pleasure to meet students both at the beginning of their venture journeys, as well as those who have already achieved a measure of success.”

For those who did not get a chance to enter this year, do not worry; this is an annual competition, so get your thinking caps on for the next Plan-B competition. Find out more information on Plan B and how to apply.

Dan Symes, Jeremey Warren and Amrit Chandan
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