Hertford success at All-Innovate ideas competition
17 March 2021
Two Hertford teams made it to last week’s final of All-Innovate at the Oxford Foundry, Oxford’s entrepreneurship hub, with one securing grant funding as ‘Best Undergraduate Idea’.
All-Innovate – which evolved from Hertford’s Tri-Innovate initiative – is the Oxford Foundry’s flagship business idea competition and encourages undergraduate and graduate students to develop their entrepreneurial ideas. Whittled down from 53 entries, 10 teams took part in this term’s online final, where they pitched their ideas to a panel of expert judges including Jeff Wong, EY Global Chief Innovation Officer, and June Angelides MBE, investor and entrepreneur.
Representing Hertford in the final were two teams – Unbox, led by third-year PPE student Sofia Verkhoturova, and Convection 3D, led by first-year Engineering student Oliver Brewster, who developed a new, automated way of producing plastic parts on demand.
After an excellent round of pitches, Unbox was awarded one of three prizes, securing £5,000 of grant funding for further development as ‘Best Undergraduate Idea’. Sofia, whose teammates included Hertford alumna Nikita Khandwala and UCL engineer Aaliya Manji, describes Unbox as “the next go-to career discovery platform”. As a hub for young people, its aim is to bridge the gap between talent and opportunity by providing startups with on-demand access to diverse interns.
We got a unique chance to pitch in front of judges with very impressive track records – we’re very grateful for the experience, learnings and connections we developed.
Sofia Verkhoturova, co-founder of Unbox
The Unbox platform will act as a guiding hand, supplementing university education by providing peer-to-peer advice, work experience, and upskilling opportunities, ultimately playing a key part in defining the landscape of early careers. Interested students can apply now to be part of Unbox’s beta platform.