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Student steams ahead in Santander contest

UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 12 JUNE
Student steams ahead in Santander contest

On Friday 29 May, Innovation Fest 2020 culminated in the very first Santander-STEAM Pitch contest. Santander sponsored the event in collaboration with STEAMhouse, in which students from engineering, computing and research pitched their ideas in front of a panel of industry experts.

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Birmingham City University

STEAMhouse, always striving to promote innovation and enterprise for economic growth and sustainability in the West Midlands, joined forces with Santander Universities to enable inspirational entrepreneurs of tomorrow to make a difference.

Award-winning students from throughout Innovation Fest pitched their ideas in front of a panel of industry experts and competed to be the first ever champion of the grand STEAM-Santander contest. Students included: Board Room Pitch winner, Blake Skinner; Engineering Show winner, ‘Team 11’ comprising of Molly O'Neill, Jack Billingham, Mohammed Suweef, Alexander Dummer and MyResearch4Industry winner, Salman Abdullah.

The virtual contest was a close call, however Salman’s design and development of Biofeedback Stick Technology wowed the judges and he was crowned the first Santander-STEAM contest champion. The health research student and former computing undergraduate received an incubation fund of £4000 sponsored by Santander, as well as support from STEAMhouse to fund his academic project and kick-start his entrepreneurial journey.

Salman was overwhelmed and proud to win the contest: “I was feeling a bit nervous competing against the winners of Innovation fest 2020 and pitching in front of a judging panel, comprising of high profile people from the industry and academics.

‘Having engineering expertise is not sufficient to get the product to the market. Business expertise is also required to master the trade. For this reason, the mentoring support through STEAMhouse will play a pivotal role in creating the business aspects of this project.’

The contest also marked the one-year anniversary of the partnership between Birmingham City University and Santander, which has delivered a variety of successful initiatives in the past year, such as the BCUSU Win4MySociety Pitch event and the HARS-Santander Scholarships.

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