Winners of the Spark 2021 Autumn Cohort Announced

The virtual event saw 14 budding entrepreneurs from the Spark programme pitch their business ideas in hope of getting their hands on £500 seed fund, to test and develop their start up ventures.

All 14 entrepreneurs had spent 9 weeks undertaking our Spark Awards start up business programme.

Through a series of weekly webinars produced by James Lemon from The Growth Works, and fortnightly mentored meetings with Ross Jordan and Sunil Oberoi and members of the BES team, participants gained the fundamental skills needed to transform their ideas into reality and take the first steps on their business journey.

Thanks to our judges

  • Elizabeth Cameron, Interim Lead for Enterprise Support 
  • Renee Watson, Founder of and Head of Explosions at The Curiosity Box  
  • Arijit Mitra, Managing Director at Apurba Ltd & Head Of Innovation for the Institute for Ethical A.I. Oxford Brookes University

Who granted eight Spark Award prizes of £500 seed fund, to the following successful businesses: 

Etain O’Carroll - OBU Atelier 
OBU Atelier is a platform to promote and sell the works of Oxford Brookes art and design students and alumni. Breaking into the art industry is notoriously difficult without gallery representation and this initiative aims to fill that gap and smooth the passage from art education to making a sustainable living as an artist. OBU Atelier is an online and physical gallery space offering promotion and sales as well as continuous professional development for artists, art courses for the public and space for everyone to discuss art and creativity. It will also act as a central hub for creative collaborations between departments at Oxford Brookes. 

Vanessa Giorgia Barzasi - BioBright
BioBright have created a new innovative and affordable way to make natural mood lights without damaging the environment, by using their knowledge in Biotechnology. 

Tirth Deviprasad Mehta - Eyera 
Eyera aims to sell the best quality spectacles and sunglasses at the most reasonable price to customers. 

Wasim Boshor - DriveNow
DriveNow, the future of driving. A revolutionary platform uniting users to book driving lessons to acquire their shiny new vehicle driving license. We are here to pave the way for transparent driving training by providing enriched tailor-made lessons for our users. Ultimately, looking to create safer roads by creating better-informed drivers. An On-Demand solution is DriveNow.

Georgina Gallagher - IDEN 
IDEN is an innovative and modern technology-focused company that provides an alternative to traditional physical student cards that enables better security of the institution. We aim to achieve this vision by partnering with a top security technology provider and offering this technology to UK universities, where this kind of technology (NFC technology) has yet to be updated and used to its full potential. We take traditional physical student ID cards and instead make these available on the IDEN app, easily downloaded on any phone.  

Victoria Eames - Cup of Rainbow Publishing
Cup of Rainbow Publishing wants to rewrite childrens' futures.  We specialise in beautiful, thought-provoking, heartfelt children's books centred around child development and mental wellbeing, and for every one book sold another is given to a child in need. 

Marc-Everin Carauleanu - Roumote  

Mamuna Rashid - Moving Minds 
Moving Minds is an inclusive, thought-provoking and collaborative space for architects, designers, builders, engineers and creatives to discuss and challenge architecture in academia and profession.

Join our Spark Awards Programme 2021/22