University of Kent student from Dover wins £1,000 start-up prize

Training Posted 20/04/18
A University of Kent post-graduate student from Dover has won a £1,000 prize for a mobile phone app that allows people to order and pay for food in restaurants.

The app, called Waitr, has been developed by Oliver Salisbury, who studies in the Kent Business School (KBS), and his business partner Callum Messiter who also comes from Dover. The idea helped them win the Business Start-Up Journey (BSUJ) competition run by KBS that took place on 4 April.

The competition saw students from the University’s schools of Economics and Computing as well as KBS pitch their ideas to a panel of industry experts. As well as tackling tough questions on their proposed growth strategies the students took part in mentoring sessions for insights on how to grow a start-up idea into a viable business.

The judges for the event were:

  • Kevin Bardwell – Santander Universities relationship manager
  • Laura Bounds – Owner and managing director of Kent Crisps and Kentish Oils/li>
  • Dean Johnson – Managing director of medi-tech company Haag Streit UK/li>
  • Steve Lowe – Managing director of leading textile supply firm Elsatex/li>
  • Jaye Graham – Final-year Economics student and winner of last year’s BSUJ/li>
  • Bal Sandher – Kent graduate and founder of Hectic Lifestyles./li>

Choosing Waitr as the winner, the judges praised the app for its well-thought-out presentation and usability as well as the viability of the idea. Oliver and Callum hope to launch the app to market after an initial testing phase in the summer.

The judges also chose two runners-up at the event to receive a £500 prize: James Grice, from Fleet, and Basra Khan from Dagenham, were selected for their idea for an app called Stay on Route that helps make train journey more accessible for visually impaired people while Niccolo Paglia also won £500 for his multimedia CV and job application platform E-Jobs.

The Business Start-Up Journey is philanthropically funded by successful entrepreneurs and by Santander Universities.

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