Enterprise Fund awarded to four business ideas thanks to Santander Universities UK

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Student Scarlett from Female Music Focus interviewing
Music student Scarlett Brownbridge (right) from Female Music Focus

The Enterprise Fund has been supporting enterprise and entrepreneurship since 2018, thanks to the University’s partnership with Santander Universities UK. The award, open to both students and recent graduates, provides entrepreneurs with the funds to transform their business ideas into a reality. The last round of funding took place in April and four business ideas were successful in receiving the award. Read more about them below:

Student Scarlett conducting an interview for Female Music Focus

Scarlett Brownbridge – Female Music Focus

Scarlett (BA Music) was awarded the Enterprise Fund to expand Female Music Focus, a platform that aims to tackle gender inequality in the music industry. The funding will allow Female Music Focus to take the platform from an Instagram blog to a professional website with space for in-depth features, articles, reviews and research, as well as  an online shop where merchandise can be sold. The funding will also support the promotion of the platform as well as the necessary equipment and software needed to produce more varied and higher quality content.

“We can’t thank Santander enough for providing this invaluable opportunity and for supporting such an important cause. We’re so excited for our next steps and for what the future holds. It’s an honour to be awarded the enterprise fund and we hope Santander continues to produce these exceptional opportunities for students.”

 Student Alex Fieldsend

Alex Fieldsend – Project HERRMAN (Hazardous Environment Research Rover for Mapping and Navigation)

Alex (MEng Mechanical Engineering) was awarded the Enterprise Fund to support Project HERRMAN, a semi-autonomous rover that can be used in highly hazardous areas, to navigate and map partially known environments through the use of off-the-shelf sensor components integrated into one interface. The funding will allow for the purchase of the vital components that are required for the rover which, when built, can be used to demonstrate the capabilities of the system to investors and others interested in the area of autonomous systems and hazardous area exploration and research. The prototype will also demonstrate the applications of STEM education to real-world innovative systems.

“I would like to thank Santander not only for their incredibly generous grant and the amazing opportunity they have provided but also for their continued support in advancing the project and in helping develop my own skills and knowledge through their wonderful team.”

 PhD student Luke Evans

Luke Evans – Waste to Hydrogen

The idea behind Waste to Hydrogen is to combine well-established small-scale waste to energy technologies and use the gasses produced from organic waste to create cheap and low-carbon electricity and heat through hydrogen fuel cells. The Enterprise Fund will allow Luke (PhD in Engineering) to manufacture a micro-steam reformer, a key component to demonstrate the waste to energy potential of food waste at a community recycling hub in Liverpool called “The Bridge”.

The micro-steam reformer, the component that will be built and tested as a result of this funding will connected to the anaerobic digestor at “The Bridge”, which will be fed from local commercial food waste. At the other end of the reformer are the hydrogen fuel cells which Luke has been manufacturing in Liverpool as a part of his PhD.

“Thank you so much for supporting my business idea. The building of a micro-steam reformer will enable me to demonstrate that low carbon waste to energy technologies can play a part in the challenge of our existence – averting runaway climate change.”

 Student Alex Shakeshaft

Alex Shakeshaft – Enturi Solutions Ltd

Alex (MSc Masters in Management) was awarded the Enterprise Fund in support of his business Enturi Solutions Ltd.  The business was established with the aim to innovate green technologies to meet the UK’s future energy demands, in a way that does not damage the landscapes or wildlife and utilises existing infrastructures – removing the need for deforestation or disruption of marine life. The team’s first project, the “Green-Post” aims to retrofit/phase in compact, discrete, and widespread green energy power-posts, functionalizing the approximate 7.5 million rural and urban lamp posts in the UK with high efficiency Enturi turbines. The turbines have no exposed blades and would create a nation-wide power network of renewable energy to primarily feed the national grid, and secondarily power the UK’s road lighting network at night. The award will support conceptualisation, modelling, and prototyping utilising additive manufacturing (3D printing), financing the required materials, components, and software.

“I would like to send my personal thanks and gratitude for supporting the University of Liverpool’s Enterprise Fund initiative, and investing your time and funds into Enturi Solutions Ltd. Your engagement and interest in this venture has massively boosted our confidence and resilience, knowing we have the support from such members of society in a time of such turbulence and uncertainty. We at Enturi Solutions Ltd aim to heal the planet and creatively strive for innovation to secure a safe and renewable future for all, and your funding has paved the long road ahead. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity and the role you play in our community.”

Thanks to the support of Santander, a total of 30 business ideas have received start-up funding through the Enterprise Fund. You can read more about the Enterprise Fund, on our webpages or to find out about other enterprise opportunities at the University visit the Careers and Employability website.