Competition crowns Scotland’s newest entrepreneurs


11th December 2020

Some of the University of Dundee’s best business brains have been honoured as the winners of an enterprise skills competition were announced.

AvaCare, an avatar-based app to deliver psychiatry and psychology appointments, and The Green Box, a scheme that provides students with environmentally-friendly essential items, have been named as the winners of the University’s bi-annual Enterprise Challenge by an external judging panel of business experts.

The brainchild of students Mostafa Khalil, Ailsa Hershaw, Abigail Johnston and Caitlin Kavanagh, AvaCare scooped the New Ideas Award, winning £1500. The award will help them establish relationships with accredited health organisations to investigate the design of an app that allows patients to receive professional psychiatry and psychology advice. The app could support private and public healthcare systems, pairing patients with experienced healthcare professionals.

The Green Box team, consisting of students Esther Barakengera, Anyamanee Rattanaphongchirakun, and Vera Bergshoeff, aims to make students’ introduction to University life more environmentally friendly. The “Green Box” contains second-hand products donated by local people, as well as brand new items, deemed as essential in getting students settled into their halls of residence.

The idea impressed the judging panel enough to secure the team the Enterprising Team Award, for which they will each receive an Discovery Profile, worth £300.

Organised by the University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship, the bi-annual Enterprise Challenge is open to University students and staff who are keen to develop their ideas for a new business.

Participants had seven weeks to develop their proposals through a series of workshops, where they received advice from leading business figures. A panel of experts then scored the concepts on their viability to determine the winners, which were announced at an online ceremony.

Brian McNicoll, Head of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, said, “Once again our Enterprise Challenge has highlighted the wealth of innovative talent among the staff and students here.

“We never fail to be overwhelmed by the creativity of our entrants and their dedication to learning new skills. The judging panel were hugely complimentary to all of those who reached this year’s final and I congratulate both of our winners and look forward to seeing how they utilise the enterprising skills they have learned in their future careers.”

University of Dundee

Nobel Prize winning poet and honorary graduate Seamus Heaney has described the University of Dundee as ‘having its head in the clouds and its feet firmly on the ground.’ The ability to be both aspirational and down-to earth and to blend ground-breaking intellectual achievement with practical applications, has given the University its distinctive character.

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