MSDUK extends application deadline for innovation competition supporting forward-thinking, innovative ethnic minority entrepreneurs.
MSDUK, the UK’s leading non-profit membership organisation driving inclusive procurement has extended the application deadline for its annual Innovation Challenge to 31st July 2020. The competition which is now in its fourth year provides ethnic minority start-ups and high-growth businesses with innovative products or solutions access to industry experts, investment and market opportunities. It is a unique platform designed to promote inclusive innovation and tackle under-representation of Ethnic Minority-led Businesses (EMBs).
This year’s theme ‘Better Ideas for a Better World’ focuses on four themes: advanced digital technologies, healthcare and wellbeing, social innovation and sustainable futures. The competition, which is supported by Cummins, Accenture, EY, Digital Catapult, GSK and Eaton will invite successful applicants to pitching training ahead of the September semi-finals, with the finals taking place on 9 December. Businesses will have the opportunity to pitch directly to a panel of global brands, investors and entrepreneurs and win a cash prize of £5,000, business scholarships to the Ivy League Tuck School of Business, access to corporate mentoring and grant funded programmes.
Speaking about the competition, MSDUK founder Mayank Shah said:
“Like every other business entrepreneur in the 21st century, the EMBs that succeed will be those that bring about social change through innovative ideas and technologies – after last year’s truly inspiring array of ideas, I am excited to see what the current crop of EMB social entrepreneurs can bring to the table.”
The 2019 competition was the biggest to date with 13 finalists, including Hub client, Energimine, a Greater Manchester based blockchain technology company, that develops products in the energy management sector.
Imran Rahim, Chief Strategy Officer at Energimine said:
“Energimine’s reputation is for innovation and challenging norms. We’ve never been afraid to shake things up, not for the sake of it but for the betterment of the industry, and ultimately the planet.”
Elsewhere, London based Pukket, an advocacy and community management platform won the highly competitive Social Innovation category and was also announced as the 2019 Overall Innovation Challenge winner.
Fahim Pour, Chief Executive Officer at Pukket said:
“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.”
Businesses interested in taking part in the competition can submit their application through the online form on the MSDUK website. More information on eligibility and the competition process is available on the Innovation Challenge FAQs page.
If you are a Greater Manchester business seeking innovation support, product or service development, The Hub’s Innovation team can provide expert advice, funding and tailored resources.
To connect with your local innovation advisor, email BGHinnovation@growthco.uk