Blue Skies Thinking winners announced

Blue Skies Thinking winners announced

The winners of the University of Aberdeen’s innovative Blue Skies Thinking Business Ideas Competition were announced this week following an exciting Dragon’s Den style pitch to a panel of judges from the University and industry.

All six shortlisted entrants from the first round of the competition delivered their presentations on Tuesday with the winning ideas ranging from web-based e-services through to innovative product development, and targeted sectors including the food and drink industry, health, music industry, and manufacturing.

The Blue Skies Thinking Business Ideas Competition - the first of its kind at the University - received a host of varied entries from students and staff. Applicants were first invited to apply to the competition with an outstanding idea and a robust plan that outlined the development of their proposal. Ideas could come from work carried out in the University or from a completely separate activity.

Professor Dominic Houlihan, Vice-Principal for Research and Commercialisation at the University of Aberdeen and the originator of the competition, said he was impressed by the quality of the entries. He said: “I have been highly impressed by the range of commercial ventures that are being planned and carried out by post-graduate students and staff members at the University. All the presentations were of very high quality and represented great business opportunities.

“I hope we can run this competition every year to encourage entrepreneurship in our staff and students.”

Calum Proctor, the Staff Winner, who won first place for a reusable thermal food container idea, said the Business Ideas Competition provided the ideal vehicle to introduce the concept to potential stakeholders.

Matt Kennedy, first prize winner in the post-graduate category for his EMUBANDS idea – a web-based service for indie bands - said: “I enjoyed taking part in the competition and thought it was a really good experience. I'm glad to have had such an opportunity at just the right time for getting my idea really moving.”

The winner in each category gets a cash prize of £2000 with £1000 going to the second place ideas and £500 going to third place. Both First Prize winners have also won help from the University to the value of £10000 to get their business off the ground.

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