Winners of MSDUK Innovation Challenge announced

MSDUK NEWS

Winners of MSDUK Innovation Challenge announced

04/10/2019

After a day of live pitches to an audience of over 300 attendees and questions from a challenging judging panel, the winner of the Innovation Challenge was announced.

MSDUK conference
MSDUK 2019 Conference Day Two. Business Show and Innovation Challenge
Overall winner

Pukket won the Social Innovation category before being announced as the overall MSDUK Innovation Challenge winners for 2019.  Pukket provides a universal loyalty programme where people collect points for sharing their photos and experiences of their favourite brands on social media.  These points are then redeemable for vouchers or products.  Pukket is on a mission to make the web a fairer place for everyone. They not only won the overall MSDUK Innovation Challenge but also the fiercely competitive Social Innovation category too.

MSDUK Pukket
Winners of MSDUK Innovation Challenge, Pukket

Fahim Pour, CEO of Pukket spoke afterwards about the win saying, “Being a migrant from a Persian background puts a lot of responsibilities on my shoulders.  There are many youths within the Persian migrant community who find it difficult to break into tech.  With Pukket I can set an example for them and show the possibilities regardless of where people come from.

“At Pukket we understand that every business needs some sort of marketing to survive.  However, traditional channels of marketing are not effective anymore.  ROI is falling and people’s behaviour is changing towards ads and sponsored content.

“My colleagues and I no longer want people’s data, attention and content on the web to be taken for granted for the purpose of advertising.  The moment we get brands to appreciate their customers and reward them for their engagement online, we’re succeeding in our mission: reinvesting the economic model behind the web by empowering people to be the single source of trust, recommendations and reviews online.”

A tough decision

Headline sponsor and Challenge judge Denis Ford, International Sourcing Leader EMEA, NE/SE Asia and S. Pacific at Cummins, commented on this year’s finalist line up saying, “I would like to congratulate all the finalists.  The quality of the pitches was superb and the finalists did a great job in this pressured situation.  I am proud to have been asked to be part of this Challenge.”

Fellow judge, Ray Lambe, Director of Programme Diversity at Digital Catapult added, “Pukket won this year’s MSDUK Innovation Challenge because it was clear to all the judges why their idea was important, who it was important to and that it was a deliverable business proposition with clear social and sustainable credentials.”

Our biggest final yet!

MSDUK Founder and CEO, Mayank Shah, added, “MSDUK’s aim is to bring together innovative and high growth Ethnic Minority-owned Businesses with global corporations who are committed towards creating an inclusive and diverse supply chain and the Innovation Challenge is just one way we do this.

“The theme for the third year of our Innovation Challenge was ‘Better Ideas for a Better World’ and entrants had the opportunity of entering any of four categories which were Industry 4.0, Healthcare & Wellbeing, Social Innovation, and Sustainable Futures.

“The fact that we had 13 finalists rather than our usual 12 is testament to the sheer diversity of applications in this year’s Innovation Challenge, as well as to the quality of the pitches we saw during the semi-final round and the incredible ideas that sit behind those pitches.  It was a very tough day for our judges and again demonstrates the wealth of innovative ideas we have here in the UK within the Ethnic Minority-owned Business community.”

Denis Ford added, “This year’s finalists were based across the UK including Manchester, Leicester, London, Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Hatfield and 31% are female founders.  In addition, they came from a wide spread of ethnic backgrounds including Pakistani, Persian, Indian, Caribbean, African, Chinese and Asian.  Each year this Challenge grows and becomes more and more vibrant and important to innovation generally as well as diversity specifically.”

MSDUK innovation challenge finalists
Innovation Challenge finalists
The finalists of the 2019 MSDUK Innovation Challenge were:
Challenge prizes include:
  • £5,000 cash prize for the Innovation Challenge winner plus introductions to MSDUK’s investor network and workshops
  • £40,000 worth of business school scholarships at Ivy League Tuck School of Business for the top four finalists
  • £100,000 worth of corporate mentoring delivered via a 12 – 18 month corporate mentoring programme with Accenture and Digital Catapult
  • 2-year MSDUK Premium Membership with unlimited access to MSDUK Hub Programmes and events for all 13 finalists

Thanks to our headline sponsor, Cummins and sponsors Johnson & JohnsonAccentureEY and Digital Catapult.  The 2020 MSDUK Innovation Challenge opens for entries in April and further details can be found here: https://www.msduk.org.uk/innovation-challenge/

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