Clearing the way for prospective students

A University of Brighton student has won a £1,500 prize for her technological innovation that could help support the university clearing process.

BEng (Hons) Electronic and Computer Engineering student Shuvechchha Ghimire was the winner of the Santander University of Brighton Ideas Competition, launched by the University’s entrepreneurship support service Beepurple.

She was presented with the cash prize – which will enable her to further develop her business idea – at a ceremony at 68 Middle Street, Brighton.

Seven University of Brighton students pitched their ideas to the judging panel, which consisted of: Kerry Watkins (Brighton alumna and founder of social media training consultancy Social Brighton, who also gave a keynote speech at the ceremony), Cheng Jin (Business Relationship Manager, Santander UK) and James Burton (Entrepreneur-in-Residence).

Shuvechchha said her experience of working in a temporary clearing call centre served as inspiration for her innovation – an automation system that could replace the need for extra temporary call centres during clearing.

She said she believed this could have a “positive impact on both the applicants and the admission offices”.

Shuvechchha added: “I want to make it easier for prospective students to go through clearing. Likewise, the university admission offices need not take an unsurmountable level of pressure every year to organise clearing.”

Reflecting on winning the prize and her plans for the future, Shuvechchha added: “Moving forward, I want to trademark my idea. I also want to invest in building an agile team.

“Winning the competition has helped me find potential mentors and advisors. This would not be easy otherwise. The prize money will be essential in financing my team, trademarking the idea and understanding the evolving market.”

In second place, winning £1000, was Bronwyn Robichaud, a BA (Hons) International Event Management student, who creates leisurewear inspired by fine art.

Third place went to Liam McCarthy, BA (Hons) Photography, who wants to create an app that enables student creative collaboration and can help local businesses spot talent. Liam won £500 and an additional prize of £100, as he was selected as the favourite idea of the audience in beepurple’s ‘people’s vote’.

Runners-up were: Kira Downer, BSc (Hons) Business Management student, with cooking show The Vegan Chef; Sean Donald, BA (Hons) History, Literature and Culture student, with an inclusive makeup business; Francesca Thornton, BA (Hons) Media and English Literature student, with her study skills toolkit; and computer science graduate Gerome Braddock with his website to help holiday accommodation owners rent out empty rooms during low season.

Clare Griffiths, Business Development Manager (Entrepreneurship) at the University of Brighton, said: “We were delighted with the quality and diversity of ideas we received this year.

“Each of our seven finalists delivered professional, passionate pitches to a great crowd that turned out to support their entrepreneurial endeavours. Thanks to the generous support of Santander Universities we are able to run this competition twice during this academic year.

“We look forward to identifying, encouraging and supporting even more students and graduates from the University of Brighton who can use this as an opportunity to turn their ideas into reality.”

More information about the Santander University of Brighton Ideas Competition can be found on the University of Brighton website.

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