Celebrating London Met's Big Ideas

Entrepreneurs and social innovators from across the University were highlighted at the Big Idea Challenge awards ceremony.

Date: 6 May 2022

Seven business and social enterprise ideas from London Met's community were highlighted at the Big Idea Challenge prizegiving ceremony on Wednesday, which was held at the Museum of London. Another four prizes were given to ‘Big Ideas' from younger students at London's schools and colleges. 

Now in its 9th year, the Big Idea Challenge is an annual, entrepreneurial competition that gives students, staff and alumni the chance to pitch and develop their own business idea, potentially launching them into a real-life business. The competition is organised by The Accelerator - London Met's business incubator.

Each winner will be given the tools to develop their business and have access to a shared prize pool of £30,000 to launch their winning idea. Previous winners have gone on to launch businesses that have created hundreds of jobs and millions of pounds profit.

"The Big Idea Challenge had such a high calibre of entries this year," said Simon Boot, Head of Accelerator. 

"The judges had a tough job on their hands choosing the winners from such a strong cohort. The variety of ideas put forward really highlights the diversity and creativity of London Met's community.

"At Accelerator, we put our all into supporting the winning ideas, and I am excited to see how these ideas develop next."

The winners were:

Grand Champion and Commercial winner – The City Herbarium

Kadeisha Antoine's idea, The City Herbarium, is a luxury bespoke subscription outlet specialising in products for multi-ethnic consumers. It will provide a hub for health, wellbeing and beauty products with a strong focus on stock from small, Black-owned businesses.

Community winner – Sancia's podcast

Sancia's Podcast is a podcast developed by Sancia Williams and Liam Lewin that promotes social change by changing the narrative and challenging the negative perception of children and young people in the Social Care System. It gives young people a voice to share their experience, drawing upon professional advice and information to bring awareness by educating, enlightening and edifying a wide audience.

Tech winner – Clipics

Silvia Scivales and Yuri Barbiero's idea, Clipics, is an online marketplace for professional photo and video services. Clipics has a user-friendly platform, full of descriptions and visual examples, that helps clients understand exactly what they need and buy. They then select the best professional for the job. Plus, Clipics offers new creative services that go beyond the standard wedding or corporate shoot, such as videoshoot experiences as a gift idea.

Climate and environment winner – Pedal

Barney Sheppard's idea, Pedal, is an app that provides cycling route options to people in a city based on their in-the-moment preferences. This would cover multiple aspects, such as speed, busyness, noise, number of stop-start actions, and even the aesthetics of their route.

Creative winner – Something Good

Something Good is a participatory sculpture developed by Anna Masters. It uses a sculpted open pair of hands emerging from a wall, to provide a dedicated space for gift-giving and sharing between strangers, friends, businesses and passers-by. 

Staff winner – SD Maps

The School of Computing and Digital Media's Preeti Patel and Qicheng Yu have developed a dashboard designed to provide users with a user-friendly interface to access demographic data such as population, age, ethnicity, income, employment, education, marital status, and more through dynamic maps. These demographics provide a broad understanding of the different characteristics of a population, which are valuable assets and should be available to everyone in the community. Unfortunately, the data is currently not easy to access; SD Maps builds on a previous project to make this information open and accessible.

People's Choice and London Met winner – Libre

Developed by the School of Social Sciences and Professions' Ellie Larionidou, Libre is an app through which researchers will be able to conduct anonymous research and reading, where the authors, citations, and Journal name will remain anonymous, until the researcher decides to use a study, based solely on their reading). This will contribute to a new methodological approach, informed by the idea of decolonisation.

Schools and Colleges Grand Champion – Ink

Ink is a coffee, art, and culture experience devised by students from Southwark College to give caffeine patrons an exclusive experience, with a flagship store in Elephant and Castle. Coloured milk and latte art would enhance the experience, with a green screen to allow customers to film the coffee-making experience and edit for social media. 

Schools and Colleges first runner up – Magic Candles

Magic Candles, developed by students from New City College Epping, creates custom candle infills for candle jars so they can be reused and enjoyed for longer. 

Schools and Colleges second runner up – My Fantasies

Inspired by one student's own experience of social anxiety following a stroke, this group from Newham Sixth Form College developed the idea of My Fantasies - a virtual reality immersive world to help young people overcome their fears and work on personal development in a safe environment. 

Schools and Colleges People's Choice winner - Find My Fun

Find My Fun is an app that aims to overcome the isolation experienced by young people and get them engaged in the real world again. The app idea, developed by students from Hampstead Fine Arts College matches young people to fun activities happening in their areas including sports, museum visits, art classes and more. 

Two hosts of an award ceremony, taking a selfie with the audience in the background

Interested in taking in London Met's 2023 Big Idea Challenge? Register your interest to find out more.