Meet the women heading the most exciting new startups at Imperial | Empire News
From sewage disease control to insect-based food, Imperial Women are at the fore in cutting-edge business.
Five new startups founded by female students will compete in the final stage of the college’s WE Innovate program.
The WE Innovate Program, run by Imperial’s Enterprise Lab, is the college’s leading educational program designed to support the next generation of female entrepreneurs and help them accelerate their start-up businesses.
Develop entrepreneurial skills
The six-month program supports students, graduates, and alumni who identify as women to develop an early-stage business idea and enhance their leadership and entrepreneurial skills.
The WE Innovate program integrates business training, master classes, and networking, with the goal of increasing the number of women in leadership positions, managing start-ups, and increasing funding. In the final, the five finalists will advance before a live audience for a chance to win a share of a £30,000 prize fund, sponsored by BP.
- Register for the WE Innovate Final on Wednesday, June 22nd to watch the finalists and hear the winners announce.
Ben Mumbi Croft, Director of the Imperial Enterprise Lab, said: “This year’s WE Innovate program was our strongest to date and I’m proud of all the teams that have participated over the past six months – as well as Alae Ismail and the Enterprise Lab team who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to support our innovators. WE ARE THE SUCCESS OF THE PROGRAM.
“It was very difficult to pick the five finalists out of the 10 semi-finalists, and although there can only be one final winner, I am confident that all the teams from the semi-finals onwards will be a huge success.”
sewage disease control
Untap is developing a smart community health monitoring system using wastewater. The team says that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, transmission of the virus in workplaces and communities was a multibillion-pound problem. Now, they say, workplaces and community settings require better protection against infectious disease, but monitoring outbreaks by testing individuals is expensive and time-consuming (such as taking blood and saliva samples).
Untap’s solution is wastewater monitoring that can monitor the entire community in one test and ensure 100% participation. This may be to detect coronavirus or any other virus.
Untap was founded by College of Engineering PhD alumni Dr. Claire Trant and Dr. Jay Pullen.
Define the future
Team Repair develops software to send malfunctioning electronic tools to children aged 8-12 for repair, which is designed to teach them basic scientific knowledge and repair skills. The team aims to solve two problems: get more children into STEM and inspire the next generation to reform, thus also helping to reduce waste.
The team’s monthly subscription STEM learning kit sends kids ages 8 to 12 a new broken electronic tool to fix it along with the necessary tools and an accompanying app to guide them through the activity. The 12-month program will teach them basic knowledge of STEM and repair skills through topics such as batteries and motors, while they can take apart and repair real products. When finished, they return the tool to us for reuse, but they keep the tools to do the repair again.
Team Repair was co-founded by design engineering students Megan Hill, Anais Engelman, Oliver Colliborne, Patrick McGuckian, and Oscar Jones.
water quality sensor
Climate change has affected water quality for aquaculture (the practice of cultivating seafood, increasing the risk of fish mortality and inefficient farming, according to Banu’s team that has reached the final stage. They say farmers can no longer rely on traditional methods for forecasting weather or water quality, Which leads to huge profit loss for farmers without immediate troubleshooting.
Banoo’s solution is an affordable and integrated aquaculture technology for fish farmers to monitor and solve water quality problems in real time through an Internet of Things (IoT) system including micro bubble aeration system, water quality sensor, and mobile applications that enable farmers to monitor ponds remotely distance.
Banoo’s CEO is Sely Shvira, an MA student in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management at Imperial College Business.
Insect based food
Saved develops insect-based foods such as cereals, pasta and snacks, which enhance the high protein and nutrient content of insects into a protein alternative. The Saved team, whose founder graduated with an MA in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management at Imperial College Business, says cricket protein is 20 times more efficient as a source of protein than cattle and produces 80 times less methane. Additionally, the team says that insects require less food, land, and energy than any other animal protein.
The team hopes to break down stereotypes about eating insects and contribute to the development of a more sustainable food supply chain.
Targeting the gender health gap
Woost is developing a home blood test kit to regularly track menstrual blood biomarkers for early gynecological diagnosis.
Combined with the digital platform, women can analyze their results, understand their symptoms, access reviewed health information and support treatment. The team hopes to target the gender health gap affecting women and provide them with the support they need to take control of their health journey.
Woost was founded by Miles Ida Ekinji, who has a PhD in Chemical Biology of Health and Disease.