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Contenders battle in China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge

Semifinalists from the competition

18 July 2017

Teams from universities across the country arrived in Lancaster to battle it out in the semi-final of the 10th China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge.

The Dragon’s Den-style event held at LUMS was officially opened by Professor Nigel Lockett, Associate Dean of Engagement and Professor of Entrepreneurship at LUMS. The eight semi-finalist teams each made a fifteen-minute presentation on their business proposal and answered questions from a panel of five judges in the hope of securing a place in the final.

Projects varied greatly and included reverse recycling technologies, smart mountain search and rescue drones, medical products, smart gym equipment, and online memory and security technologies.

After intense competition, the four successful teams to make it through to the next round are Whistle from Lancaster University, LoMaRe from Imperial College London, BPMN3D from Liverpool John Moores University and Panda Lab from Lancaster University.

The four teams will compete in the final, to be held at the Cocoon Networks London offices on 19th July. The finalists will share a £14,000 cash prize and access to a £500,000 investment opportunity.

The China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge was developed in 2008 by Lancaster University and the China Innovation and Development Association. Today the university partners include Lancaster, UEA, Edinburgh and Northumbria. This year we also partnered with Cocoon Networks in London, who are dedicated to nurturing Sino-British startups. Cocoon also hosted the workshop in their London offices this year, which was the second stage of the competition after idea entry. The competition aims to encourage new business ideas and start-ups focused on developing commercial relationships between China and the UK. In China, a parallel competition is hosted by Chongqing  University. The finalists from both countries will meet in China in Autumn 2017.

The semi-final judges were Lancaster China Management Centre director Professor David Brown, Professor Nigel Lockett (Associate Dean for Engagement and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Lancaster University Management School), Susan Sykes (an Entrepreneur in Residence at LUMS and former Owner/Director of Omega Holidays Plc), Ahmad Ghiassi (Owner and Director of Belair in UK and previously Alzomar WLL in Qatar) and Dr Qihai Huang (Director of Lancaster China Management Centre and Reader in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Lancaster University Management School). The Judges were chaired by Professor David Brown who is Professor in Strategy and Information Systems at Lancaster University Management School and was founder member and Director of the Lancaster China Management Centre.

All the judges commented on the quality of the presentations and business plans. It is our 10th year and the standards continue to rise. This international competition has become a popular and valued entrepreneurship opportunity for students.