University of Dundee

Success for Life Sciences students at University Enterprise Challenge Competition

08 Dec 2020

Some of the University of Dundee’s best business brains have been honoured as the winners of an enterprise skills competition were announced.

AvaCare, an avatar-based app to deliver psychiatry and psychology appointments have been named as the winners of the University’s bi-annual Enterprise Challenge by an external judging panel of business experts.

The brainchild of students Mostafa Khalil, Ailsa Hershaw, Abigail Johnston and Caitlin Kavanagh, AvaCare scooped the New Ideas Award, winning £1500. The award will help them establish relationships with accredited health organisations to investigate the design of an app that allows patients to receive professional psychiatry and psychology advice. The app could support private and public healthcare systems, pairing patients with experienced healthcare professionals.

The winning team includes Life Sciences postgraduate students Caitlin Kavanagh and Ailsa Hershaw. Both are currently working towards an MSc Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, with Caitlin taking the programme with Management and Ailsa the programme with Marketing.

Organised by the University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship, the bi-annual Enterprise Challenge is open to University students and staff who are keen to develop their ideas for a new business.

Participants had seven weeks to develop their proposals through a series of workshops, where they received advice from leading business figures. A panel of experts then scored the concepts on their viability to determine the winners, which were announced at an online ceremony.

Brian McNicoll, Head of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, said, “Once again our Enterprise Challenge has highlighted the wealth of innovative talent among the staff and students here.

“We never fail to be overwhelmed by the creativity of our entrants and their dedication to learning new skills. The judging panel were hugely complimentary to all of those who reached this year’s final and I congratulate both of our winners and look forward to seeing how they utilise the enterprising skills they have learned in their future careers.”

Joost Zomerdijk, Programme Lead for the MSc Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, said, “A huge congratulations to the AvaCare team and particularly to our two students Ailsa and Caitlin. The Enterprise Challenge is a great initiative and our Master’s students benefit tremendously from the experience, as it gives them a real world encounter with translation of ideas into a new business and, thereby, effectively complements their Master’s programmes.”

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