10 September 2014 - 11:33 am

2 categories, 10 finalists, 2 winners. Who will they be?

You may remember a little Enterprising Ideas Competition we run every year and this year was no exception. Students and alumni (up to five years from graduation) are invited to submit their startup concept or business for the chance to win cash prizes. Big cash prizes! It’s pretty exciting.

This year, we have two categories: Concept; and Startup. The winner of the Concept category will walk away with £1000 cash, whereas the winner of the Startup category will get £5000. This is all incredibly nail-biting stuff. But who’s in the running?

Concept Category Finalists

Azeeza Ismail, Indian Café

Azeeza Ismail, Indian Café

My business idea revolves around the concept of “food” which is was and will remain as an all time winner when considered as a good income generator. A small cafe outlet in Sheffield which would cater healthy home-made Indian sweets, snacks and main course. It would be a one stop shop for the diverse Indian Cuisine.

The customers would have the flexibility of choosing their own quantity of food and this would reduce food waste and also make the price as cheap as possible to fit everyone’s pocket!


Lauren Nicholson, Remember The Date

Lauren Nicholson,
Remember The Date

Remember the Date is a new concept that plans to disrupt and renew our idea of the simple greetings card and solve the age-old problem of forgetting to send an anniversary card or desperately searching around at the last minute.

Customers can create all their cards for the year in a few simple steps and even upload a video message using our new Memorybox feature so you’ll never forget to send another card again.


Natalia Welch, Pura Panela

Natalia Welch,
Pura Panela

The sale and distribution of Panela in the UK starting from Sheffield. Panela is Colombian raw unrefined natural sweetness extracted directly from the sugar cane through a rustic process without chemicals or additives.

It can be used to add sweetness to any food or drink. Panela is a natural provider of vitamins and essential minerals such as calcium and iron, in addition to being a natural source of energy strongly recommended by professional Colombian cyclists for endurance sports performance.


Sophie Findlay, Customuse

Sophie Findlay,

Customuse aims to design, manufacture and sell affordable customisable electric guitars targeted at typical young, 17 to 27 year-old guitar players who would not normally be able to afford a custom guitar using the power of 3D printing.

We will be launching our interactive web platform in November, which will allow our customers full control of the appearance of their instrument, so they can build their dream guitar. At Customuse we print your personality!


Yeqing Liu, Nostalgia

Yeqing Liu,

Nostalgia is an inspiring and unique food stand that will be started up in Sheffield city centre, providing customers with authentic Chinese street food in the most efficient time.

It can achieve a rare combination of health, flavour and convenience, which will not only cure Chinese students’ homesickness; but also enable local people and other students to experience the quintessence of Chinese street food.


Business Startup Category

Roz Davies, We Love Life

Roz Davies,
We Love Life

I am amongst 400m people worldwide who lives with diabetes. One person dies every six seconds from the complications. However, if we have good care and self-management we reduce the risks of complications.

We Love Life Diabetes is a community platform which supports people to better manage diabetes. It includes forums, information, a store, local living & motivational tools, helping people to feel more knowledgeable, connected and in control, ultimately living happier and healthier lives.


Ollie Chapple, The Bear Socks Company

Ollie Chapple,
The Bear Socks Company

The Bear Socks Company is an award winning, ethical, designer sock brand that uses the revolutionary material bamboo. Bamboo is the future of the sock industry, with its unique characteristics of being renewable, biodegradable, anti bacterial, durable, soft and breathable.

We are creating high quality products, alongside delivering excellent customer service, and committing 10% of our profits to a charity supporting bear welfare.


Alex Buckman, Nicola Lazenby, and Andrew Timmis, The Energy Community

Alex Buckman, Nicola Lazenby, and Andrew Timmis,
The Energy Community

Saving the Energy Together with The Energy Community

Alex, Nicola and Andrew, three PhD students, founded The Energy Community.The Energy Community is the Weight Watchers of energy.

We make energy visual, provide personalised advice and develop social peer support networks. Now you will be able to know what energy saving changes will work for you, have the support network to help you keep it up, and be able to see the savings that you’re making to your pocket and the planet!


Dr Sarah Bryan, SB Holistic

Dr Sarah Bryan,
SB Holistic

SB Holistic offers a made-to-measure massage therapy service. Dr Sarah Bryan integrates holistic therapeutic massage, sports and remedial massage, deep tissue massage and aromatherapy, to provide a treatment tailored to the client’s individual needs. This results in a pleasant and clinically effective massage experience, moving away from the traditional distinction between relaxation massage, versus sports massage.

Sarah also makes bespoke prescription aromatherapy bath and skin products, including foam baths, creams, lotions, oils, gels, washes and drinkable tonics.


Rebekah Russell, Renown Media

Rebekah Russell,
Renown Media

Encompassing the key aspects of the media industry, Renown Media offers high quality photography, videography & graphic design all ‘under one roof’. This enables clients and businesses to receive a straight-forward service working consistently to provide commercial services.

This can range from photography, branding, a video and website to promote a business. This saves the client time, rather than finding each service separately; Renown Media provides their clientele an efficient and reliable service.


So, there you have it. Our ten finalists for two categories of our annual Enterprising Ideas Competition. For those of you on the invite list for the Awards Ceremony and dinner tomorrow evening, I’ll see you there. For those of you who want to follow along online, keep an eye on @UShefEnterprise to find out who the winners are in real-time.

Well done to everyone for getting this far. As always, the competition was tough!

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  • About the author

    Samantha Deakin

    1:1 coach and mentor for tech and high growth potential companies in the early stages, supporting them from concept through prototype, through to investment and beyond.