Innovation Challenge 2018 finalists visit Oxford Brookes University


Innovation Challenge 2018 finalists visit Oxford Brookes University


Left to Right: Darren Tenkorang (Founder, Trim-it), Elle McIntosh & Alborz Bozorgi (Co-Founders of Twipes).

We had a very successful event last night at Oxford Brookes University, to talk about this year’s MSDUK Innovation Challenge.

Attendance was very encouraging, with a good number of entrepreneurs coming along to find out more about the challenge.

Guest speakers were one of last year’s finalists, Twipes, and mobile barber business Trim-It. They talked about their journeys, how they started and where they are now, and had lots of advice for our guests.

Feedback from the event was excellent, with attendees saying that the question and answer session with our guests was particularly helpful. MSDUK’s Ervin Picari said: “Our speakers had some great advice for people taking their first steps, especially around fundraising and mentoring.

“They made the point that getting expert mentoring can really make a difference. Twipes talked about how they had benefitted from the advice given them about their marketing plan by their mentors at Accenture.”

Elle McIntosh & Albozorgi, Co-Founders of Twipes, Runners-up of MSDUK Innovation Challenge 2018. As runners-up they were onboarded onto an 18-month mentoring programme with Accenture & a full scholarship to Ivy League’s Tuck School of Business in Dartmouth, USA for one-week residential on how to scale your startup.


The Innovation Challenge is open to ethnic minority-led entrepreneurs looking to take their business ideas to the next level. There are some wonderful prizes on offer. These include a £5,000 cash prize of business scholarships to the Ivy League’s Tuck School of Business in the US, mentoring with Accenture and Digital Catapult, and a chance to get to know investors, plus a fast-track opportunity to Techstars’ accelerator programmes.

But more importantly, it’s a great way to gain experience in some of the skills needed to build a business. Each successful applicant will have their pitches assessed by a panel of highly experienced judges, representing global brands, investors and entrepreneurs. The feedback gained is invaluable.




For this year, our theme is ‘Better Ideas for a Better World’. We’re looking for companies with innovative ideas on technologies, products, services or business models in four areas: Industry 4.0, Social Innovation, Healthcare and Wellbeing, and Sustainable Futures.

For more information on the Innovation Challenge, and to apply, visit us.Applications close 31st May, 2019.