Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) has recently played host to the semi finals of the China-UK Entrepreneurship Competition, in what is now its fourth year.
The event, a grueling ‘Dragon’s Den’ style contest between eight of the most up-and-coming business innovations, ran from 10am to 4pm on Wednesday 5 May. Only four of the eight could make it through to the final, to be held at University College London (UCL) in July, where prize money, introductions to venture capitalists and greater connections in the UK and China will be at stake.
The event was sponsored by LUMS, UCL, Queen’s University Belfast, University of York and the China Innovation Development Association (CIDA).
Based on the popular television programme, the young entrepreneurs each had a 25 minute slot to impress the judges’ panel, not only to show that their products worked, but also that they have what it takes to make it in the business world.
One of the successful candidates, Sonu Bubna, had already been to Houston, Texas with her idea. ‘Gaea Naturals’, which is a company incubated under the Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC), had attracted interest from NASA, one reason the judges felt that this company would be a smart investment. The business plan, for a biodigester which recycles waste water, was one of the ideas that will be facing the trials again in the final.
Ms Bubna said that with the judges’ opinions she was able to “see where improvements can be made, as well as what points of the presentation worked.”
The other three finalists included Gamma from the University of Cambridge, Nanolase and Inclusive Innovations.