The semi-finals of the Tata Varsity Pitch Competition 2021, powered by NACUE, took place on Wednesday October 6th, 2021. Thirty semi-finalists pitched-off for six places in the Grand Final, a chance to win £15,000 equity-free funding and a coveted national title.
Participants pitched across six designated categories, each given just two minutes to convince the judging panel that they should represent their category in the Grand Final. Read more about their great ideas and who were selected as Finalists in the recap of the event below!
Genuine Innovation with Tata Consumer Products
The first category of the day was the highly anticipated Genuine Innovation Category with Tata Consumer Products, which got the day off to a great start.
HX Lab is developing a new method of detecting and analysing brainwave activity to help us better understand human behaviour.
MedFlow is developing a software solution that allows the location of medical equipment to be tracked real-time by hospital staff, saving them valuable time.
Route Konnect provides anonymised vehicle and people movement insights captured across multiple cameras, the first computer vision company to develop an anonymised alternative to facial recognition.
BrewBraganza is the UK’s first premium ready-to-drink alcoholic tea brand, combining two of the country’s favorite beverages to redefine what it means to have a good brew.
PhenUtest enables 30-minute testing for UTI-suspected samples, ensuring patients get the correct antibiotic at their first GP visit in a cost-effective way.
The category was judged by representatives from Tata Consumer Products: Graeme Karavis, Adam Burton, and Dan Clemence. After a tough deliberation, they named PhenUtest Diagnostics as the category winner. Congratulations to PhenUtest!
Creative & Design with Tata Consultancy Services
The Creative & Design category with Tata Consultancy Services was up next, as pitchers continued to impress the audience and judges.
Xuonii is an accessories and home furnishing business which reinvents everyday products in a more practical and environmentally friendly way.
CEESOUND is a sound production company that creates accessible entertainment solutions for visually impaired audiences.
Looop Can is a cleaning kit for washing reusable menstruation pads to reduce period poverty in vulnerable contexts.
MapScratched is a digital scratch-off map, a storage provider for your memories, a trip advisor, and a community of travel lovers.
FruitE is a smart fruit bowl that informs users about the fruit ripening status, aiming to lower household food waste.
The category was judged by representatives from Tata Consultancy Services: Rodger Oates, Lakshman Bakthavathsalam, and Manoj Abraham. Xuonii was chosen as their winner — congratulations! This is what the team had to say about their finalist spot:
“It has been an amazing experience and a great learning process. I would recommend it to anyone who is serious about taking their ideas to the next level.”
Digital & Technical with Jaguar Land Rover
The Digital & Technical category with Jaguar Land Rover rounded off the morning with more brilliant pitches.
Happyr Health is developing a mobile app that engages young patients and their families through gamification to track physical and emotional wellbeing.
Wonderpet is a pet health mobile app which allows pet owners to have a digital record of all their pets’ health, vaccination status, and biometric data.
Other Skies helps you present your products in their best light with 3D and an easy to use 360 degree spinner that makes it effortless for customers to go through your catalogue.
Scrapp is a green-tech start-up on a mission to make recycling simple, with their free app that aims to remove barriers for anyone to make informed disposal decisions.
Beautiful Voice is an integrated digital health platform that delivers modern home rehabilitation with quantitative speech analysis while building a marketable database.
This category was judged by Marcel zu Verl, Marton Szabo and Yusuf Mumtaz from Jaguar Land Rover. Congrats to Beautiful Voice, who were named the winners of this category. When asked how they felt about the day, the team had this to say:
“It has been wonderful participating in the Tata Varsity Pitch Competition so far. It provided us with great exposure to a wide range of audiences and it was great to hear about projects from other talented peers.”
Ideas with Tata Communications
The afternoon kicked off with the Ideas category with Tata Communications, continuing the high standards we’d seen in the morning.
ABD Nanotech has developed a new anti-viral fabric designed to eliminate the risk of infection transmission for both doctors and patients.
5 HILLS are fun, affordable, high-quality and engaging STEAM games for young children from all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.
Henry’s Cushion is an educational communication tool, supporting individuals to express their emotions non verbally and allows others to communicate without words.
HydroGrow brings sustainable smart gardens into the kitchen, allowing you to efficiently grow tasty and organic plants all year long.
Tycho MedLink provides an augmented reality mobile application to support patient’s rehabilitation and improve care quality.
The category was judged by representatives from Tata Communications: Farel Mepandy, Rashi Bedia, and Shachi Wadhawan. After thorough deliberation, they chose HydroGrow, as their winner! After the announcement, HydroGrow shared:
“Taking part in the Tata Varsity Pitch 2021 has been an amazing experience so far. The advice and guidance enabled us to efficiently review our business model and value propositions, allowing us to increase our impact and improve our vision.”
Tata Social Impact
The penultimate category of the competition was Tata Social Impact, showcasing businesses with a passion to make a difference.
The Washing Machine Project
The Washing Machine Project is dedicated to alleviating the burden of hand-washing clothes for low-income and displaced persons around the globe.
FibreLab addresses the problem of textile waste with their localised textile shredding service that collects, shreds, and recycles textile off-cuts that are unable to be repurposed.
LabCycle is creating a circular economy for single-use lab plastic waste by application of a novel decontamination process and proprietary sorting system.
Bazoo is 100% tree-free toilet paper, using bamboo to be the world’s first and only carbon negative toilet paper.
Otermans Institute has launched an AI-driven human-like virtual teacher to upskill underserved and unserved communities globally.
The category was judged by Amanda Carter, Kamal Desai, and Tony Ashburner from Tata Motors. After considerable deliberation, The Washing Machine Project, was announced as this category’s winner! When asked about their experience of the day, they replied:
“It’s been a fantastic experience to be part of this great event. It’s truly a pinnacle for entrepreneurs just starting out and we’re privileged to be a part of it.”
Tata Disruptive Business
Last but not least, the semi-finals were concluded on a high note with the Tata Disruptive Business category.
Drill Surgeries develops medical devices powered through AI and tracking algorithms to eliminate the guesswork in surgeries.
Organ Architects is developing hyper-real organ mimics that feel, behave, and respond like real organs to accelerate healthcare research and innovation.
GoRolloe is building products that harness the energy generated by vehicles to filter air pollution. Their first device attaches to bicycles to filter pollution using the rider’s motion and energy.
Global Genetic Screening System
Global Genetic Screening System is delivering a trustworthy and user-friendly genetic data platform from which consumers and healthcare professionals can benefit.
Mykor is a biotechnology and advanced materials company developing commercially viable and sustainable building materials grown from waste.
The category was judged by the same Tata Motors representatives as the previous category. While the pitches were all round outstanding, Drill Surgeries, was announced as this category’s Finalist.
Well done to all semi-finalists and huge congratulations to the finalists! The competition was tough this year with very high standard pitches and ideas, so you all should be proud of your achievements.
Please join us at the Grand Final taking place on 11th November to see these talented young entrepreneurs for yourself. The event will be virtual, so you can simply register for free here using this link.
With grateful thanks to our judges and category sponsors Tata, Tata Communications, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Consumer Products and Jaguar Land Rover.