StartUp Factory Weekend Review

Over the weekend, 25 - 27 February, the annual StartUp Factory made its return to campus after a brief hiatus over the past two years. The "hackathon for entrepreneurs" organised for students across the University of Glasgow gave students 48 hours throughout the weekend to create the best start up idea before pitching to a panel of judges for the chance to win prize money of £1,000. 

With over a hundred applictions to take part in this event, competition for the limited spaces was high to begin with! In the end 50 participants formed 8 teams to deliver their 3 minute pitch to our panel of judges. With a series of workshops and start up founders from the entrepreneural ecosystem provided to support their ideas, students worked throughout the weekend to bring their ideas to fruition. Workshops were delivered by Nick Quinn (Adam Smith Business School), Matt Davies (Matt Davies Leadership) and Brian McEwen (Converge) with business talks being delivered by Matthew Leeper (Education Evolved Ltd) and Jenny Benson (Walking Tours In The UK). 

The winning team EquipNet UK featured students from the School of Life Sciences and Adam Smith Business School coming together to enhance access to lab equipment across academia and industry through an innovative online platform to make research cost and time efficient. 

Second place went to The Athena Straw, a concept product to address the increasing number of spiking victims with a multi-use drug testing straw for drinks. The judges were so impressed by the quality of the pitches and ideas that they awarded a joint third prize to Indie Brew, and independent coffee shop subscription platform and E-Consume, a digital marketplace bridging the gap between suppliers and consumers. 

 Student feedback about the weekend was excellent with one participant saying: 

"The start-up factory is an invaluable and unmissable opportunity. I had never participated in anything related to business before and was apprehensive about joining a competition in which business skills were required to win. During my experience any and all skills were welcome. The enterprise team did an excellent job at encouraging cross-discipline input while training everyone in the practical skills that are needed to succeed in a private enterprise. This is an opportunity that is completely practical; everything we learned was immediately used."

With this being our first event in person since 2019, it was wonderful to see so many engaged students back on campus. We cannot wait for more events in the near future. 

First published: 3 March 2022