The winners of a start-up competition have been unveiled.

StartUp Sussex is organised by the University of Sussex Careers and Employability Centre and the Sussex Innovation Centre to encourage entrepreneurship on campus and beyond. It is funded from the HEFCE Higher Education Innovation Fund and the HEFCE UnLtd social entrepreneurship funding. Students, recent graduates and staff pitched their ideas for a social or commercial enterprise to a panel of judges. The winners receive up to £2,000 towards their enterprise and office space and mentoring support from the experts at the Sussex Innovation Centre, based on campus.

In addition, one winner received £500 towards market research from The competition is the culmination of a range of events to encourage and support entrepreneurship at the University of Sussex. The events are open to all students, recent graduates and staff.

Mike Herd, the executive director of Sussex Innovation Centre and a member of the judging panel, said: “I have been particularly pleased with the very high standard of entries, but even more impressive has been the vision, innovative thinking and entrepreneurial passion that came across in their pitches to the panel.”

The winners of the autumn 2012 competition include: Lyndsay Burtonshaw, an international relations student, whose idea was to encourage cycling by setting up a bike hire business on campus.

Tianyi Ma, who is studying for a masters degree in information technology with business and management. He aims to enable others to enjoy chess. In addition to offering tuition to adults Tianyi also wants to work with primary schools and set up chess clubs.

Robbie Georgiou, a geography graduate, is recycling coffee grounds using them to grow mushrooms. Robbie and his team have also created mushrooms growing kits. He called his business Espresso Mushrooms.

Amit Pate and Vu Phong, studying for a masters degree in information technology with business and management. They hope their innovation will provide a new way of sharing photos of events around the world.

Matthew Stroud, an international relations masters graduate and cricket enthusiast, arranges selfcatering bespoke cricket tours around the world. He plans to ‘use innovation, both technologically and otherwise, to provide a customer centric approach to cricket tour organising’.

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