Press Releases 2014-2015

UWTSD Teams Claim First and Second Place in Startup Competition

23.11.2015

Two enterprising teams of students from University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) have taken first and second place in the Startup Weekend Swansea competition.

Allergy Manager team members are joined by the Startup Weekend judges and organisers as well as UWTSD academics

Startup Weekend Swansea gives students from UWTSD, Swansea University and Gower College Swansea the chance to make their business idea a reality, all in two and a half days. It is a high energy weekend, where participants meet new people, pitch an idea or join with someone else, and form a business.

During the weekend, the teams join forces with other entrepreneurs, developers, designers, marketers and technologists to build real solutions to the world's most pressing problems in just one weekend. The Swansea competition is one of many startup weekends that take place across the world.

On Sunday evening (22/11/15) a judging panel came together to listen to the final pitches and choose the best startup ideas. The panel included: Debra Williams, former managing director of Confused.com and Tesco Compare; David Hieatt, co-founder of @HiutDenim and @DoLectures; Anna Bastek, CEO at Wolfstone and Voicebox; and Dina Henry, Chief Commercial Officer for Charity Aid Foundation Bank.

In first place was Allergy Manager, a team consisting of fifteen students from UWTSD’s School of Applied Computing. Their creation, the Allergy Manager app, would bring a team of dieticians, personal trainers, medical professionals and local pharmacies together to combat allergies. The app would have scanning functionality that lists ingredients found in food and would include a restaurant locator, diet plans and recipe ideas. It would include a forum to bring people together with the ability to add family members and friends’ allergies to profiles. The eventual aim of the Allergy Management team is to continue developing it into an ‘overall well-being app’.

Nathan Buller, UWTSD web development student and Allergy Manager team member, said: “It’s been a great experience. I have learned real-life skills like how to get a new business started and time management. It does get a bit intense, especially when the goals keep changing; you need to be able to adapt to change and tweak your plans.”

In second place were a team of four student’s from UWTSD’s School of Applied Computing. Their app design, called Train Track, is a personalised commuter’s guardian that tracks your train through Google Maps, facilitates integrated transport, determined arrival and departure times and offers solutions to delays through local in-app advertising. For example, coffee shops could offer incentives for delayed commuters to visit their coffee shop while they wait.

During their market research 100% of respondents said they would download the app and 92% said they would pay for it.

Alan Blundell, UWTSD software engineering student and Train Track team member said: “Startup Weekend is not what you expect. We have gain a lot from it including skills such as project and time management. The mentors were brilliant and helped us develop ideas. I would 100% recommend Startup Weekend.”

First prize comprised of a £500 tech voucher, six months office space at Hoowla (software developers for the legal profession) and one year’s Github Silver membership worth $500. Second prize included one year’s Github Bronze membership worth $300. Both teams will gain valuable advice and insight from mentoring by Smart Anchor Ventures and AGP, and one year’s use of Skippr, an Instagram analytics and management tool that enables members to create winning Instagram strategies fuelled by data and insights.

Professor Stephen Hole, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering at UWTSD, said: “This was an excellent weekend where we saw two brilliant business ideas develop. They were well thought out and well presented, and hopefully will turn into large businesses over the next few years.”

Speaking about Allergy Manager, Professor Andy Penaluna, Director of the International Institute for Creative Entrepreneurial Development at UWTSD, said: “Having watched the initial ideas grow over day one this team could have gone anywhere. They focused on the strongest idea and really made it happen.”

Professor Mike Phillips, UWTSD Pro Vice-Chancellor responsible for innovation and enterprise, said: “The University is extremely proud of its students and we congratulate both Allergy Manager and Train Track. We have an international reputation for policy development in the field of entrepreneurship education but that stems from the curriculum work that we have delivered across our programmes for decades. As a result, UWTSD produces more successful graduate startups than most universities in Wales and we see our students consistently deliver to a high standard in event such as Startup Weekend Swansea.

“This result is the perfect way for UWTSD to finish Global Entrepreneurship Week 2015 where, for the second year in a row, UWTSD topped the UK list of UK GEW activities.

For more information about Startup Weekend Swansea please visit http://www.up.co/communities/uk/swansea/startup-weekend.

Further Information

For more information please contact Steven Stokes, Principal Corporate Communications and PR Officer, on 01792 483695 / 07872 423788 or email steven.stokes@uwtsd.ac.uk.