Entrepreneurial teams win share of £167,500 from Strathclyde Inspire

Mark and Susan Hamilton with David Pratt (centre), Chairman of PanAmerican Geophysical company and Synaptec Ltd

Three entrepreneurial teams behind a medical devices company, a plant health sensor manufacturer and a maker of eco-friendly cleaning products, have won a share of £17,500 of Strathclyde entrepreneurial award funding.

A further two teams won £75,000 each for Outstanding Business Idea Research Papers as part of the Stephen Young Entrepreneurship Awards.

Claymore Surgical, Surfteic and Happy Leaf were announced as winners at the Inspire100 event held at Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre.

The biannual Inspire100 event is organised by Strathclyde Inspire – the University’s flagship entrepreneurship programme which offers entrepreneurial training and opportunities to all students, staff members and alumni.

Investment proposals

The event saw six Strathclyder-led companies pitch their businesses investment proposals to an audience of entrepreneurs, investors and experts from Scotland's entrepreneurial community.

The judges at the event were: Angus MacFadyen, CEO of NXD and Board Advisor, Star Advisory Ltd; Dave Pratt, Chairman of PanAmerican Geophysical company and Synaptec Ltd; and Sara Deas, Chair of North Ayrshire’s Community Wealth Building expert advisory group.

Claymore Surgical, led by Scott Black, which designs novel medical and surgical devices relating to paediatric airway maintenance, in collaboration with surgeons and clinicians within the NHS, was awarded £7,500 from Santander Universities funding

Surfteic, led by Susan and Mark Hamilton, which produces an innovative sustainable new product to replace conventional surfactants with effective bio-based alternatives; and Happy Leaf, led by Amy Roberts and Iain Quinn, which is developing an all-in-one smart sensor and app solution which monitors the health of a plant through a soil sensor, were both awarded £5,000 each from the Stephen Young Emerging Entrepreneurs Awards.

The event was chaired by Inspire Supporter Brian Martin of Caltona Ltd, and the keynote address 'Passion, Perspective and Perseverance' was delivered by Strathclyde's Chief Commercial Officer, Gillian Docherty.

Generous funding

The event also provided a platform for announcing the winners of the £150,000 Stephen Young Awards for Outstanding Business Idea Research Paper which were presented to Dr Momchil Vasilev, a Research Associate in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and Professors Karen Faulds and Duncan Graham of the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry received £75,000 apiece.

Dr Vasilev, founder of InProcess, won for his paper on ‘inspecting high-value components at the point of manufacture,’ while Professors Faulds and Graham won for their paper on ‘Rapid point of use detection of Listeria in chilled food manufacturing.’

The Stephen Young Entrepreneurship Awards form part of a programme created as an important element of a £50 million donation to Strathclyde by the charitable foundation of alumnus, entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr Charles Huang PhD. The donation, the largest gift in the University’s history, is supporting the university’s work in transforming lives, supporting the economy and nurturing entrepreneurship.

The award is presented in memory of the late Professor Stephen Young, former Head of Strathclyde’s Department of Marketing and Dr Huang’s supervisor and mentor during his PhD studies.

Fiona Ireland, Head of Entrepreneurship Strategy, said: “Through our Inspire100 event and the generous funding we have received from Dr Charles Huang and Santander Universities, we are proud to support the Strathclyde community in their entrepreneurial endeavours, helping them to develop innovation solutions to a wide range of challenges.

“The support we are able to provide will help these exciting young companies to grow. We’d like to thank all of those who entered, and our judges who had a really tough time in selecting winners from a group of exceptionally strong contenders.”