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28 February 2007
The TouchSight Vision Mitt
The TouchSight team
Engineering students have beaten off Oxford rivals to win the “Varsity Pitch” competition.
The Varsity Pitch is a showcase for the best entrepreneurial ideas of the brightest students at Oxford and Cambridge. The student teams had just two minutes to pitch their ideas to a panel of celebrity business moguls, followed by a gruelling seven minute interview. The panellists included:
TouchSight, a new startup company started by Manufacturing Engineering Tripos (MET) students Karan Keswani, Samaan Rahman, Pete Davies and Jessie Baker, was awarded the grand prize of £5,000 and a trip to Monaco. I am delighted that the overall winner, TouchSight, is from Cambridge, commented Rahul Vohra, President of Cambridge University Entrepreneurs (CUE). TouchSight will improve the lives of millions of blind and visually impaired people across the world.
TouchSight have developed a unique mobility aid for the blind and visually impaired. The glove-based system, called the TouchSight Vision Mitt, enables the user to sense' their surroundings using ultrasonic sensors and vibration feedback actuators, providing a low-cost alternative or supplement to guide dogs or white sticks.
Pete Davies of TouchSight commented: We're absolutely delighted to win the Varsity Pitch 2007. It's brilliant that competitions like this are organised by student societies, to enable entrepreneurship and let all these amazing ideas that would not otherwise see the light of day, have exposure and involvement with business and investors in the real world. TouchSight will now take the next steps to bring the product to market - we will build more prototypes, protect our intellectual property and work more closely with distribution channels to make this happen. TouchSight will bring real change to the lives of the blind and visually impaired across the world.
Rajeeb Dey, President of Oxford Entrepreneurs, Oxford University's student society for entrepreneurs said: The competition was a huge success and we had an exciting and inspirational evening of commercially viable entrepreneurial ideas. We look forward to seeing this competition go from strength to strength in coming years and to watching the success of the winners.
The TouchSight team were one of three from Cambridge to take part in what has been labelled as "The Oxbridge Business Boatrace." The winner's have a place in the next round in Monaco for the international “Next Generation Entrepreneurship Forum” where they have the chance to access further funding.
The Varsity Pitch is a new Oxbridge business idea competition, with three winners from the Cambridge University Entrepreneurs (CUE) £1k competition competing against three winners from the Oxford Idea Idol competition.
For more information on the Varsity Pitch please visit www.varsitypitch.com
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