Ambitious Bristol University start-ups win a share of £100,000 after exciting competition

Winners came from a wide range of sectors, from live events to seaweed farming


Twelve emerging start-ups competed at the University of Bristol Innovation Showcase on Tuesday (7th May).

This Dragons’ Den-style event provided an exciting opportunity for start-ups with a connection to the University of Bristol.

£75,000 was up for grabs to any University of Bristol student start-up, as well as a further £25,000 available to start-ups involved in quantum.

This funding was provided by University of Bristol alumni and supporters and was granted to a diverse range of start-ups, many of which were founded by current Bristol students.

The groups receiving the biggest prize money were Rubisko, making seaweed farms more efficient; Taught by Humans, aiming to improve data skills using personalised learning journeys; and Mixterial, involved in the formulation of complex chemicals using composites. These groups, all with roots in Bristol University, won £20,000, £15,000, and £10,000, respectively.

Credit: University of Bristol

Start-up Concussion Toolkit Consultancy won £8,000, an all-female group hoping to challenge the imbalance in information around concussions and women in sports.

The four Bristol Uni masters students stressed to the judges that 80 per cent of concussion research is focussed on men, and concussion symptoms in women can often be confused with period symptoms.

Trying to counteract this imbalance, the group are upskilling sports clubs to help women recover from sports-related concussions.

They will use the grant to bring the latest concussion research to university sports groups, aiming to later open this out to grassroots clubs.

The group said: “It’s a privilege to have received this funding, especially since less than three per cent of VC (venture capitalist) funding goes to women. To have so many people share their own concussion or recovery stories after our pitch was special.

“We think providing inclusive recovery protocol which centres the individual is a mission that really resonates with people.”

Credit: University of Bristol

Another start-up winning a £3,000 share of the funding was Lost Track of Time, a Bristol-based start-up that puts on inclusive and engaging events that fill empty venues. The group puts on regular events at many student hotspots, including Thekla, Motion and Four Quarters.

Lost Track of Time is renowned in the Bristol student DJ scene, giving up-and-coming student DJs opportunities to gain experience at their events.

One of the two start-ups winning a grant in the quantum-focused part of the competition also came from the University of Bristol, with the company Light Tase Photonics bagging £20,000.

The judges of the competition included Simon Pillar, a Bristol Uni engineering graduate who founded Pacific Equity Partners, the largest private equity firm in Australia.

Pillar addressed the crowd saying “It was a really, really hard job picking between your fantastic presentations. There was a lot of diversity of business ideas, which makes it even harder to compare them.”

The Innovation Showcase included an exhibition of work from students studying at the University’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Featured image via University of Bristol. 

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