Business Start-Up Journey 2017 Winner Announced


Student Jaye Graham founder of a pet matching app has been awarded £1,000 after her pitch to a panel of judges.

Jaye, a second-year Economics and Sociology student, won the overall competition, receiving a £1,000 investment for her business, Pawfect Match, which utilises a Tinder-style interface to match homeless cats and dogs with potential owners. This investment was double the event’s usual £500 prize as the judges were so impressed by the idea.

Two students from Kent Business School (KBS) were awarded £500 towards their ideas after the judges felt compelled to provide funding to their projects. These awards went to Vasu Sarin for his business Tab Care Limited, which uses wearable technology to allow care homes to remotely monitor elderly people’s health, and Anton Carter for his app Phonic that scans text and reads it aloud to aid learning.

In total eight students took part in the final, marking the culmination of the nine-month Business Start-Up Journey programme which began in November 2016 and is run by the KBS’s Accelerator Space for Innovation and Responsible Enterprise (ASPIRE).


Around 100 students entered the Business Start-Up Journey, each meeting with ASPIRE entrepreneur-in-residence Adam Smith to discuss their business ideas. Students attended a series of workshops exploring and explaining various areas of essential business knowledge such as sources of finance, marketing, and intellectual property rights. Eighty ideas were submitted for consideration and forty were chosen for progression. These students were then invited on a two-day business ‘bootcamp’ where they collaborated, pitched to each other and took part in team-building to further hone their ideas.

From these final ideas, the eight pitchers and three video submissions were selected for the final event where they presented their ideas to a panel of judges:

  • Daniel Rubin – Founder and Executive Chairman Dune Group
  • Steve Lowe – MD Elsatex
  • Adam Baker – Santander Universities
  • Dean Johnson –  CEO Haag Streit UK
  • Brenda Okandju – KBS alumna, Business Start-Up Journey finalist (2015-16)

The Business Start-Up Journey will also send two students to the European Innovation Academy – a three-week tech start-up festival which takes place around the world.

Congratulations to all the students from all at Kent Business School.

Find out more about the Business Start-Up Journey.

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