A PAIR of talented entrepreneurs are off to Silicon Valley after winning a competition searching for solutions to some of humanity’s biggest problems.

Charles Delingpole, 31, and Maya Stanford, 21, had four minutes to present viable business concepts to global challenges such as health, water and energy to a panel of experts at the Brighton Grand Challenge.

Miss Stanford, a University of Sussex MSc student in human-computer interaction, presented her computerised therapy system that helps users with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The system will administer bilateral stimulation therapy, which is psychotherapy that targets disturbing memories as the cause of mental disorders.

She said: “I’m so happy to have won this. I’m really excited about the opportunity it offers.”

Mr Delingpole is the founder of Brighton-based web business The Student Room, and used its £7 million annual revenue and other ventures to pour investment into an intelligent banking security system.

His Stelapoint Gateway flags up clients who may be involved in money laundering and corruption so banks can act without having to close down financial services for all.

Mr Delingpole said: “I hope that Maya and I can do us all proud.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to meet and work with gifted companies.”

The pair were up against eight other Brighton and Hove candidates and they will fly out in December to a six-day executive programme at Singularity University in California.

The Singularity University provides education and partnerships to connect individuals with cutting-edge technologies in more than 85 countries.

University ambassador Mike Halsall believes entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the economy and are in the best place to work on some of humanity’s biggest challenges.

Professor Marc Cowling of the University of Brighton is a world expert in start-up enterprise and was on the panel of judges.

He said: “The standard of scientific thought is stunning.

“But scientists don’t tend to make good entrepreneurs on their own. It’s great to get this business support.”

Other ideas included Declan Talbart's Mandarin-learning device Tonelingual and Fergus Sinclair-House's desalination water technology.

Most candidates were encouraged by the evening and are pursuing investment elsewhere.

The Brighton Grand Challenge was sponsored by American Express and run in affiliation with Singularity University, University of Sussex, Wired Sussex and Brighton and Hove County Council.

Other judges included director of the Sussex Innovation Centre Mike Herd, leader of Brighton and Hove City Council Jason Kitcat, University of Sussex pro-vice chancellor for research professor Michael Davies and Wired Sussex managing director Phil Jones.