Out of the nine entries from London Business School, three students and one alumnus have made it to semi-finals of the 2020 Mayor’s Entrepreneur Competition. Dev Majumder EMBAGA2020, Kit Gammell MBA2021, Jennifer Lynch PhD and Guilherme Marins EMBA2018 will compete to win one of the four awards.
The Mayor’s Entrepreneur competition offers a platform for students to come up with business ideas that help deliver good growth for our city – growth that makes London cleaner, greener and ready for the future. In addition to that, it wants to ensure that students get the skills they need to succeed in a fair, inclusive society and a thriving economy. The competition taps into the perspectives and creativity of London’s students to find solutions that will improve their city.
Jennifer Lynch who is currently a PhD student at London Business School came up with the idea of Alchemy, an app with simple yet powerful daily creativity exercises.
Alumnus Guilherme Marins EMBA2018, submitted his business idea BenHealth, a social enterprise with the mission to transform the mental healthcare industry through artificial intelligence and add a human touch to provide patients easy and affordable access to mental healthcare in their one-stop-shop platform.
Dev Majumder EMBAGA2020 entered with Envance, a SaaS platform that enables asset managers and investors to advance their environmental portfolio. Envance provides solutions to screen and invest in projects that offer both positive environmental impact and attractive financial returns.
Kit Gammell MBA2021 came up with WaterDrop and is looking to solve the burgeoning single-use plastic waste problem by building a smart network of digitally-integrated water fountains.
Four Awards up for grabs
This year the competition has four awards in the following categories: Environment, Smart Cities, Creative Industries and Health. Winners of the four awards get £20,000 each to launch their business idea, as well as expert mentoring from the staff at City Hall. This support allows students to take their ideas from paper to reality.
An expert panel chooses the 120 semi-finalists (30 from each award) who attend a boot camp style workshop before presenting their idea in a two-minute video pitch on 13 July. The panel selects the top five entries from each category to form the 20 finalists. The finalists then pitch Dragon’s Den style in front of a live audience and a panel of high-profile judges who pick the winners. Past judges include Deborah Meaden, Dame Vivienne Westwood, Jo Malone MBE, Sir Terry Farrell, Dame Ellen MacArthur, and Richard Reed.
Direct employment opportunities for students
The competition provides direct employment for students, alongside their students, through 30 paid part-time internships and volunteering opportunities to help them develop workplace skills.
Skills workshops at City Hall
The competition runs a series of idea development workshops to help students develop their critical thinking skills by identifying the challenges that London is facing and creating business solutions for them. In addition to that, they also gain a better understanding of entrepreneurship, its importance to London and the opportunities it opens for them. Applicants gain access to a further set of workshops that focus on business development skills and pitching.
At least 30 students will have the opportunity to be mentored by mentors recruited from City and the Mayor’s Fund for London’s corporate partners. These students will include the applicants who apply for mentoring and the finalists who are not chosen as the winners. They will receive mentoring to build their confidence and take the next steps in getting their ideas to market. The mentoring scheme includes networking events and talks to inspire them to set and achieve their career goals.
But the competition does not just stop there. As part of the legacy of the competition, they continue to support past winners and finalists to develop their businesses.
We wish good luck to the entrants from London Business School with their upcoming pitches and hope to see them in the finals!