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Standards reach new high in China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge

Finals of the China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge 2014

Student entrepreneurs talk to potential backers at the finals of the China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge in London.

16 July 2014

The 2014 China-UK Entrepreneurship Challenge came to a gripping finale this month, with four teams fighting it out for the title of overall winner.

The finals were hosted by the Bank of China at its London HQ, and the student teams pitching their plans for innovative business projects came from the universities of Cambridge, Lancaster and Nottingham.

Chair of the judges Professor David Brown from Lancaster, one of the Challenge’s founder universities, said:  “The standard of finalists for the 2014 competition was probably the best we have had in the seven years we have been running the competition.

“All the judges were impressed by the originality of the ideas and the quality of the presentations. In April we started with 91 entries and Elves Biotech from Cambridge, with their inventive ideas for using biodegradable polymers and precise-release microspheres, was a clear winner. But really all four finalists were winners.”

Principal guest speakers at the event were Futao Chen, Minister Counsellor for Science and Technology at the Chinese Embassy, and Mr Barry Sheerman MP. The judging panel also included venture capitalists and experts from industry and government.

“BlueSky, the team from the Lancaster MBA, came third and should be proud of their achievement,” said Professor Brown. “Their low-cost idea for reducing local air pollution addresses a real need in China and this impressed the judges.”

Later this year the teams will have the opportunity to promote their new business ideas in China on a visit organised by the China Innovation Development Association.   

Established by leading universities in the UK and China, the China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge is an annual competition, open to undergraduate and postgraduate students from either country. It is designed to bring together existing business and student-led start-ups, and provides a platform for international entrepreneurs to hone their business plans and attract potential investors.