Cambridge start-up scoops UKSEC national prize


05-12-2007

Cambridge Temperature Concepts Limited (CTC), a start-up founded by six graduates at the University of Cambridge, has won the UKSEC National Business Plan Competition.

This prestigious award includes the first prize of £6,000 plus a package of mentoring and fund-raising consultancy. The entry, based around a new technology for the detection of ovulation in women to assist conception, was so strong that one of the judges immediately offered to invest.

Oriane Chausiaux, who had successfully defended her PhD thesis on infertility the day before the competition final, said "The last two years have been extremely exciting for us. As a team we met in November 2005, won the Downing Enterprise business plan competition in 2006, and the Cambridge University Entrepreneurs business plan competition in 2007 - winning the national UKSEC competition really tops it off".

The students involved have worked hard alongside their studies to build a successful company, with two students completing PhDs, one completing a medical degree, and two completing masters degrees in business whilst building the business from zero. The team attributes part of their success to the enterprise environment around the University of Cambridge, and the array of professionals and investors locally who support young entrepreneurs. "The extra-curricular business training that has been available, both from the Cambridge University Entrepreneurs during the process of the university wide business plan competition, and by the university itself in the form of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning's Enterprise Tuesday and Ignite programmes, has really helped transform us from bench scientists to entrepreneurs" said Dr. Shamus Husheer, the inventor of the technology who graduated in the summer.

The UKSEC competition attracted entries from universities across the UK, many of which had to pass through local competitions in order to enter. Five finalist teams were selected on the strength of written business plans, and then judged in a Dragon's Den style final round where they pitched to a panel of entrepreneurs and investors. As Lydia Ferguson of CTC explains, "Our opening line - Cambridge Temperature Concepts is going to get millions of women pregnant - went down equally well with a live audience as with the judging panel.’

The Cambridge team was closely followed in second place by the London Business School with Sheffield Hallam University third and University College London and Queen’s University Belfast equal fourth. Peter Reid CEO of the Centre for Scientific Enterprise and Chair of the judging panel commented, “The standard of the plans and the enthusiasm of the students was fantastic making the task for the judges hard work but really enjoyable. The future of UK plc looks really promising if universities can inspire and educate students like this.”

Competition sponsors were the University of Sheffield, TiE UK, the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship, Speakeasy4schools, Loughborough University and the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at the University of Cambridge. The Gala Award ceremony, hosted this year by the University of Sheffield, was both a celebration of the students’ success and a launch-pad for Enterprise Educators UK – the new name for UKSEC, the national network for enterprise educators.

Photo caption: Professor Paul White, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, University of Sheffield, presents a cheque to Oriane Chausiaux, Lydia Ferguson and Shamus Husheer.

Enterprise Educators UK / UKSEC
Enterprise Educators UK is the new name for UKSEC, the national network for enterprise educators. The organisation exists to enable enterprsie educators to share best practice and network. The annual business plan competition is a major event to celebrete the success of entrepreneurial students. For further information please contact Kate Beresford, 0115 9655603/07960 598258 kate@kateberesford.co.uk or see www.enterprise.ac.uk

Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL)
CfEL, based at Judge Business School, aims to spread the spirit of enterprise to the University of Cambridge and beyond by delivering a range of educational activities to inspire and build skills in the practise of entrepreneurship. The Centre collaborates with over 200 experienced entrepreneurs, innovators and other practitioners to provide relevant, credible and practical training. For further information, please contact Katharine Price. Tel: 01223 766900; Email k.price@jbs.cam.ac.uk or visit www.cfel.jbs.cam.ac.uk

CfEL is a silver sponsor of the business plan competition.

Cambridge Temperature Concepts
Cambridge Temperature Concepts Limited is developing a new ovulation detector to assist couples in achieving pregnancy. With 1 in 7 couples facing infertility now, and that rising to 1 in 3 in the next decade, the early identification of fertility problems and the maximisation of natural chances to conceive is critical. The Cambridge Temperature Concepts device, named DuoFertility, consists of a stick-on patch that continuously monitors body temperature night and day, freeing the user from the hassle (and poor quality data) associated with early morning temperature measurements or daily urine testing associated with existing products. The DuoFertility device is available for free to 100 trial users from January 2008, with devices for sale expected in April/May 2008.

Contact : Oriane Chausiaux, 01223 437007 or Shamus Husheer, 01223 437006 / 07830 330484 or visit www.temperatureconcepts.com

 

The Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School aims to inspire, enable and research entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship Centre, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge