AN annual student enterprise competition at the University of Sussex has reached its halfway mark.

Ten teams go forward into the second phase of the programme and the chance to win prizes worth up to £10,000 in business support and services through StartUp Sussex.

Thirty-nine teams were given two minutes each to pitch their ideas in front of judges and fellow students at the university’s careers and employability centre.

They had all participated in a series of workshops throughout the autumn term designed to help them progress from an initial idea towards a real business opportunity.

Each of the ten finalists will receive £500 from Santander Universities to cover early-stage start-up costs during Phase 2 of the programme.

One finalist was chosen by a peer vote, with the remaining nine decided upon by a judging panel comprised of Mike Herd, executive director of Sussex Innovation, and Andrea Wall, joint acting director of the Careers and Employability Centre.

The successful founders and their enterprises are:

• Julian Bourne (BSc Finance, 4th Year) – Waffle, a chatbot for real time discounts at restaurants near you

• Portia Cronje (BSc Finance & Business, 4th Year) – Beauty By Me, a web application booking platform for salon treatments and self-employed beauticians

• Dinda Jelita (BSc Economics & Management, 3rd Year) – Vorteil, a solar-powered bike light

• Joanna Kmiec (MA Project Management) – Deadline.Live, a website and app linked to a Bluetooth bracelet that acts as a ‘dead man’s switch’ for those with dangerous illnesses

• Tammy Littlejohns (MA Strategic Innovation Management) – Hector for Projectors, developing creative content and access to it, designed for immersive home projection

• Cristina Loma (MSc Management of Information Technology) – Smart Fashion, a service to help online fashion buyers get the right size in every shop

• Molly Masters (BA English Literature, 3rd year) – Books That Matter, a monthly subscription box for women and girls to empower and inspire them

• Hlanganiso Matangaidze (BSc Economics & Finance, 1st year) – RED, providing low cost wind turbines to rural communities in Zimbabwe as an energy source

• Rosie Robinson (Anthropology, graduated 2017) – CliC, a mental health toolkit, developing sound design workshops for wellbeing in the workplace

• Simon Spencer (MSc Robotics & Automation Systems) – Rushboard Technologies, a modular wearable for head-mounted displays, improving virtual, augmented and mixed reality for disabled users

Phase two of the programme will see the teams begin an intensive eight-week course of mentoring in the New Year, based at the Sussex Innovation Centre.

This mentoring is intended to help them shape their formal business plans ahead of a Dragons’ Den-style pitch to local investors and entrepreneurs in April.