Twelve finalists from University of London member institutions pitched their start-ups to a panel of four judges, with Proof of Impact – founded by Riz Nasrullah – taking home the first prize, an £8,000 investment.
Riz wants donors and charities alike to get familiar with blockchain technology, hoping to usher a new era of transparency into the NGO sector. Riz is a former student at LSE and currently final year undergraduate student on the BSc Accounting and Finance degree at Cass Business School, City, University of London.
The judging panel, made up of Renée Elliott, founder of Planet Organic; Simon Calver, Head of Investments at BGF; David Fisayo, Director of Foundervine; and Jess Butcher MBE, Co-Founder of Tick, questioned the competitors’ start-up plans and aspirations.
The runner-up and winner of £2,000 was Shortly, an app that suggests short stories based on how much time you have. Launched by Qasim Munye, a medical student at King’s College London, the app already has tens of thousands of users.
Michael Hayman MBE, Co-Founder of Seven Hills, moderated the evening in front of a full house in the University of London’s Beveridge Hall. Guests also cast votes for their favourite pitch of the evening, with London’s first umbrella rental service, Lonbrella, taking home the ‘People’s Vote’ award and winning a private lunch with BGF Investments.
Dr. Bob Gilworth, Director of the Careers Group, closed the session with tributes to the talent of University of London students and graduates and thanked the many people who have given time to support them through their GradVenture experience.
Prior to the final, the GradVenture series of events also included VentureHack, a training and development day, hosted by Queen Mary, University of London and a competition semi-final, hosted by UCL.