Big Ideas winners from Lancaster University!

Sebastien, Patrizia and Kyaw win £5000 with Santander Universities

copyright: Kirsten Holst

copyright: Kirsten Holst

From L-R: Sigga Sigurdardottir (Head of Customer and Innovation, Santander UK), Patrizia Carbone, Sebastien Combret and Kyaw Tun Sein

Three Lancaster University students have scooped first prize at the final of the Santander Big Ideas competition. Patrizia, Sebastien and Kyaw are all studying on the MSc International Innovation and flew back from China especially for the final event, held in London yesterday (21st March 2016).

The competition was set up to identify transformational ideas to overcome some of the key technological issues and bring digital innovation to the financial industry; Lancaster’s Project Gryphos have received £5000 to develop their idea for fingerprint, voice, heartbeat and SMS recognition for password authentication. Teams from the University of Surrey and Aston University also received £5000 after winning in the two other categories.

Matt Hutnell, Divisional Retail Director at Santander Universities said: “It’s vital that we encourage and reward entrepreneurial students to dare to challenge and innovate. Through Big Ideas, we asked students to create unique, forward thinking solutions with the potential to transform the sector.


The Big Ideas Executive Judging Panel included:

  • Juan Olaizola ‐ Santander UK’s Chief Operating Officer, Santander UK
  • Sigga Sigurdardottir ‐ Head of Customer and Innovation, Santander UK
  • Edward Metzger ‐ Head of Innovation T&O, Santander UK (Panel host)
  • Sergio Varela – Head of Solution and Innovation at ISBAN UK
  • Michelle Kent – Head of Digital, Santander UK
  • Aurore Hochard – Head of Entrepreneurship Programmes, Cass Business School

As part of their prize package, they have won £5000 and the opportunity to develop their idea with Santander’s Innovation team as well as great experience in pitching their ideas.

Congratulations Sebastien, Kyaw and Patrizia!