Scotland’s newest business stars revealed

Photograph of Lydia Konduah receiving her award.

The great business minds of the University of Dundee have been celebrated after they were crowned the winners of an annual competition championing entrepreneurship.

Eleven students and staff can kickstart their business ambitions after receiving a share of a record £68,000 prize fund following the final of the University’s Venture 2023 competition.

The competition saw 23 finalists pitch for a share of the pot across eight categories. The showpiece event marked the culmination of the University’s annual Entrepreneurship Week, a series of workshops and lectures promoting opportunities for new business ventures in Scotland.

As well as funding to help support their business proposals, all winners receive a place on Elevator’s summer business accelerator programme. The 12-week course allows start-up founders to fine tune their proposals.

Brian McNicoll, Head of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University, said, “We have been blown away by the standard of pitching, quality of applications and level of innovation at this year’s final. 

“Our expert judging panel were delighted to allocate the record £68,000 prize fund across a range of worthy business ideas that we believe will kickstart the next generation of entrepreneurial success stories across Scotland.

Entrepreneurship is vital to our economy, and we believe that universities can be the engine room of growth that we desperately need right now. 

“The Venture competition yet again demonstrates that the University of Dundee is one of the most foremost institutions in this important area.”

The winners of Venture 2023 are:

School of Business Award 
Evelina Buzaite with SignSpecch

School of Medicine Award 
Joint Winners - Haseeb Hamid with World of Medics and Tina Huang with AreWeOK   

School of Life Science Award 
Ricardo Moreno Ballesteros with GenProTex   

School of Art and Design Award
Daniella Levins with RIG  

School of Science and Engineering Award
Lydia Konduah with Phlo

McGee Awards 
Ricardo Moreno Ballesteros with GenProTex and Stephanie Graham with Natla Jewellery Studio

Postgraduate Research Award 
Lee Cheatley with Wholebeing Purpose

Wildcard Award 
Keith Wilcox with Rescue Winch Ltd  

Research Staff Award 
Anirban Guha with Guha Renewables

As well as cash prizes for the category winners, selected runners-up, which included a platform for accelerating drugs discovery projects and a renewable energy generation system with a smaller footprint, also received a share of this year’s prize fund.