Engineers in Business Fellowship recently became a proud supporter of We Innovate, a women’s entrepreneurship programme run by Imperial Enterprise Lab which inspires and accelerates the progress of women entrepreneurs. At the final held during Enterprise Month 2019, five finalists battled it out to win a share of a £30,000 prize pot, sponsored by BP.
For the first time, the Imperial Enterprise Lab incorporated an Engineers in Business Prize of £3,000 into We Innovate, enabling it to make additional awards. Two prizes, funded by Engineers in Business Fellowship, were awarded to outstanding engineering projects from the WE Innovate cohort.
Sophie Paisley-Marshall (PhD Student Sustainable Civil Engineering) of Orbit Materials received £1,500 prize for the development of carbon-negative construction materials from waste residues. Orbit Materials promotes a circular economy through the development of a treatment which successfully improves the quality of a waste product so that it can be repurposed within construction applications. Sophie said, “Our technology reduces the strain on virgin raw materials whilst capturing carbon, thus making our residues carbon negative.”
The second £1,500 prize was awarded to semi-finalist Lauren Dowling (Undergraduate Design Engineering) of Rock N Roll which is developing a collapsible log-fence to prevent rotational falls in equestrian cross-country competitions.
Professor Maggie Dallman, Vice President (International) and Associate Provost (Academic Partnerships), said: “The lack of gender equality in the startup world is well documented. In the UK, only 1% of venture capital invested goes to all women-founded teams, with 89% going to teams founded entirely by men. Clearly, we still have a big problem.
“Since 2014, WE Innovate has supported more than 250 women, equipping them with the skills and confidence they need to develop into successful entrepreneurs. It is wonderful to see this community of female student entrepreneurs grow and the fantastically diverse nature of their inventions.”
SMF James Diaz-Sokoloff, Portfolio Advisor (Intern) at BP who is pictured with Sophie and Lauren said: “It’s exciting to see the dynamism and creativity of the We Innovate competitors and it was a privilege to be at the final. We are delighted to be part of We Innovate which is doing such an important job in encouraging women’s role in innovation.”
You can learn more about the Engineers in Business prize fund for university enterprise competitions here.