Duke of York in visit to University's ABVenture Zone

Duke of York in visit to University's ABVenture Zone

Entrepreneurs at the University of Aberdeen were given the royal seal of approval when the Duke of York visited the University's ABVenture Zone on Monday.

Prince Andrew visited the start-up incubator while in Aberdeen as part of the Pitch@Palace on Tour project, which aims to help entrepreneurs make their business dreams become a reality.

He was greeted by Sir Ian Diamond and Lord Provost Barney Crockett, before meeting five entrepreneurs whose businesses are currently receiving support through ABVenture Zone, which is based in the MacRobert Building.

Earlier in the day the Prince had visited the Elevator business development enterprise in Bridge of Don, where he heard pitches from nine local entrepreneurs, including Rotimi Alabi, who formed his company RAB Microfluidics with support from the University. 

The start-up offers oil analysis to businesses through ‘lab-on-a-chip’ technology, which Rotimi started to develop while working on his PhD in the School of Geosciences.

As one of only two successful pitches, he will now go on to the ‘boot camp’ stage of the programme in Hertfordshire, where he will be given support and mentoring on how to develop his business.

Commenting on the Duke of York’s visit, the Principal said: “We were delighted to welcome Prince Andrew to the ABVenture Zone, and introduce him to five dynamic entrepreneurs whose business ideas cover a range of disciplines from healthcare and digital literacy to energy use analysis.

“The Prince was very well informed and supportive of their efforts, and it was a pleasure to hear them speak so enthusiastically about their businesses and the support they have received from the University.

“We have a brilliant pedigree for growing and applying clever ideas, and our investment in the ABVenture Zone is testament to our commitment to helping our students achieve their dreams.”

The ABVenture Zone entrepreneurs who met the Duke of York are:

Rotimi Alabi, RAB Microfluidics - developing cutting edge microfluidic lab-on-a-chip technology to meet real-time continuous testing and analysis needs of businesses that depend on heavy equipment.

James McIlroy, EnteroBiotix - including an award-winning business idea to support clinicians treating Clostridium difficile (C. diff) on the NHS.

Fiona Rudkin, mycoBiologics - a spin out company focused on generating fully human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to combat the urgent problems in diagnosing and treating life-threatening fungal infections.

Caroline Barelle, CEO, Elasmogen Ltd (spin out) - Elasmogen is a privately held biopharmaceutical company located in the thriving biologics cluster in Aberdeen, Scotland.  The Company is rapidly progressing a pipeline of next-generation soloMER products for the sight-saving treatment of inflammatory diseases of the eye and inflammatory conditions of the gut.

Surakat Kudehinbu, e-LIT International - providing accessible interactive educational content on digital literacy skills; equipping people with the skills to live, learn, work and contribute in modern digital societies.