Engine Shed celebrates student competition winners

Last week, Engine Shed was the event venue for the finale of the University of Bristol’s New Enterprise Competition (NEC), which each year awards £50,000 in funding and prizes to entrepreneurial students, staff and alumni.

Winners join a prestigious group of start-ups and spinouts,  and are part of the 20-year tradition of celebrating and rewarding entrepreneurship at the University of Bristol. Previous startups have included Milbotix, KETS Quantum SecurityLettUs Grow, UltraLeap and RouteZero.

Luke Cox (centre), CEO of Impulsonics, celebrating his winner at the New Enterprise Competition
Luke Cox (centre), Impulsonics CEO, with supervisor Bruce Drinkwater and mentor Steve Kitson

The winner of this year’s NEC was Impulsonics, a startup that uses soundwaves to move cells in petri dishes, making growing cells in the lab cheaper, faster and more reliable by automating processes still done by hand in all but the biggest labs. Impulsonics won £10,000 and a year’s membership to our tech incubator, SETsquared Bristol.

Dr Cox, Impulsonics’ CEO, said: “With so many impressive businesses entering the NEC it’s fantastic to have taken the top prize. It’s also a real vindication of everything we’re doing at Impulsonics.

“We’ve talked to more than 150 people in the biotech industry to find out exactly what they need, and we’ve already had several expressions of interest in our technology.

“To help develop our first product we’re currently raising in our first funding round – so get in touch if you want to be involved.”

Other winners on the night were:

Wonderspun – £5,000

A program combining traditional board games with digital techniques to promote reading among schoolchildren. By immersing children in a rich fantasy world, it sparks their imagination and enthusiasm for literature, fostering a love for reading.

Armago – £2,500

A platform for managing university sports clubs, including membership, scheduling and communication. It simplifies administrative tasks, empowering club leaders to create thriving and vibrant sports communities on campus.

Armago also won £2,000 from the People’s Choice Award, which is decided by a public vote.

Elevate – £2,500

An app providing mentor support for international students planning to study abroad. Elevate connects students with experienced mentors, offering personalised guidance, resources and advice for a smooth transition and successful academic journey in a foreign country.

Remap Mental Fitness – 6-months SETsquared Bristol membership  

A platform promoting mental wellbeing and physical health. Through educational materials, interactive workshops and personalised support, it empowers individuals to proactively prioritise mental wellness, fostering resilience and overall well-being.