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Five winners as hundreds enter ideas contest

A community lottery, Fairtrade pharmaceuticals, online safety workshops, a timetabling smartphone app and an allergy-friendly shopping website are all winners in the first stage of a campus-wide competition to find the next big business idea. 

The five ideas are the brainwaves of Sussex students who entered the University's 2011-12 Enter-priZe competition, which asked entrants to describe in just 50 words an idea for a new product or service. 

Five hundred students - more than ever before - entered this year's competition. 

The initial 'brainwaves on a beer mat' stage ended earlier this month and a winner and four runners-up have now been chosen in each of five categories: 

Benefits local community - winner

Hinesh Nagaria: A Sussex community lottery with proceeds to the University


  • Jamie Pritchard: Campaign for stronger health warnings on alcohol
  • Louise Kessie: Frozen food to the homeless
  • Sally Bream: Photography archive at Stanmer
  • Thomas Northam: Sun-tan lotion vending machines 

Changes the world - winner

Jonathan Kwok: Fairtrade pharmaceuticals


  • Ashley Guest: Surf travel company/network
  • Karim Tabet: Website where users play games for charity
  • Max Martin: Website to share stories of climate adaption
  • Rica Saleh: Fairtrade electronics shop 

Helps family and friends - winner:

Rica Saleh: Workshops to raise awareness about safety and data protection online


  • Christian Ilbury: Online library, like Love Film for books
  • Lucy Rostron: Online fancy dress shop - bespoke handmade costumes
  • Rose-Anne Roy-Chowdhury:  Inter-university phone lines
  • Serena Patel: 3D board game to teach economics   

Helps Sussex students - winner: 

Nia Muzira: Timetabling and reading list app 


  • Amira Aleem: Delivery service for hot packed lunches
  • Artiom Jankovskij: E-book library for students
  • Fiona Casey: Weekly music events in East Slope
  • Max Martin: Buckyball dome for events on campus
  • Robert Harkess: TV-style board that displays Uni events paid for by selling ad space  

Makes life easier - winner:

Christian Ilbury: Shopping website for people with food allergies


  • Amy Sonenthal, Amye Hudson-Smith and Charlie Quinney: Shoes with detachable heels
  • Claudia Spelman: Self-heating Tupperware
  • Joshua Brown: Pre-paid library cards/debit cards on campus
  • Mike Furyk: Jobs website similar to Facebook with IM, video interviewing etc  

Each winner of the first stage received a £25 prize. 

Organisers are now inviting any student to enter the second phase - even if they have not taken part so far - where they will be asked to submit their plan in more detail.

Following the second stage, which has a deadline of 30 January 2012,  finalists will be chosen to present their finished proposal at a special black-tie event next March. The winner will receive £500 and each runner-up £125.

For more information, go the Enter-priZe web pages.

This is the fourth year that the competition has run and some previous finalists have gone on to make their ideas a reality. They include Biz Bliss, who has established Scoop, a wholefood co-op on campus; and Sama Bakr, whose The Bike Train project can be seen in action most days cycling between The Level and the universities. 

In addition, two of this term's weekly Enterprise Thursdays events have featured as guest speakers a 2010-11 Enter-priZe runner-up.

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By: James Hakner
Last updated: Thursday, 24 November 2011