Posted Monday 24 April 2017
Students and staff from Kingston University came together for this year's Celebrate Enterprise awards ceremony, an annual event to reward and recognise entrepreneurial successes.
Prizes were awarded by Enterprise – the University's support service for aspiring student entrepreneurs – to members of the University who have shown exceptional business acumen or supported others developing enterprise in the university across the last 12 months.
Among the winning nominations was a start-up launching a stationary storage device for laptops, an online food delivery service that caters for budget food and meal-for-one customers and a venture which allows young children the opportunity to be trained in entrepreneurship.
Sam Nozdrachov, who graduated from the BSc Marketing Management course last year, was named as Entrepreneur of the Year for the development and growth of his company, L. Samuel. The business provides stationery products with hidden electronics, with a flagship A5 branded luxury notebook with hidden battery integrated inside the back page. This allows people to charge smartphones invisibly to other people during meetings in offices or in restaurants.
Sam has entered several competitions, gained investors and taken advantage of mentoring from members of Kingston University's Enterprise circle in the last year.
He incorporated L. Samuel in June last year after completing his degree – having developed the idea during a final-year module, and said he was honoured to receive the award. "Along with the knowledge I collected from my degree, Enterprise has introduced me to many great chief executives and entrepreneurs who have given me some excellent tips along the way," he said.
Keynote speakers for the evening were University alumni. Charles Irving, investor and supporter of the arts, and Vince Tallent, CFO of Microcred. Both spoke about the importance of knowing yourself, and pursuing something you love in order to find entrepreneurial success.
The evening included presentations for the Graduate Young Enterprise Awards, as well as announcements of the University's entrants for the Innovating Future Business awards and Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards – both national competitions to be held later this year.
– a nail art studio exclusively for children.Second-year marketing management student Ashema Edwards was selected to enter the Innovating Future Business awards with her business start-up, Dinky Do Dah
The entrants for the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards will be brothers Alan and David Danagher, first-year corporate finance and law students, with their business idea Adgelo – an online community for buying and selling new and used items. Sam Nozdrachov was also selected, an opportunity he said he relished. "Events like these in the presence of high quality contacts can rapidly increase your business network and the feedback that you receive from these competitions is invaluable," he added.
Kingston University is a partner of Santander Universities Division which manages Santander's long-term strategic alliance with higher education. During the past three years, Santander Universities has provided more than £350,000 of funding for Kingston University programmes, scholarships and internships benefitting thousands of students, staff and members of the surrounding community.
Head of Enterprise Education at Kingston University Dr Martha Mador said she was very impressed with this year's pool of nominees. "Celebrate Enterprise is a fantastic event where we really get to take a step back to see what our students and staff have achieved," Dr Mador said. "Enterprise is committed to supporting all students wishing to start a business or to go freelance and equipping them with the skills to succeed – not only during their studies, but afterwards as well and we always look forward to following our graduates' progress."
Enterprise offers high-profile speaker events along with workshops, coaching and mentoring sessions. The service is available to all students and recent graduates.