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14 June 2010
Three of the Department's Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) students are celebrating after winning £1,000 in a prestigious business competition organised by Pembroke College. Chris Bryan, Emma Dabbs and Eesa Mohammed took the 2009-10 Parmee Prize for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise. All three are studying manufacturing engineering (MET) at the IfM and were the only undergraduate team to have entered the competition.
Called MobileMS, the team had designed a walking aid for Multiple Sclerosis sufferers and team leader, Pembroke student Chris, explained: “We have been working on the design as part of our MET design project, so we already had down a lot of research and work on the potential market for the product.
“The course really helped us. We were able to draw on the presentation, business planning and design skills from the course. I think it really gave us a big leg up over other competitors.”
The Parmee Prize was the brainchild of Pembroke alumnus Richard Parmee who wanted to help promote entrepreneurship to the college’s students and alumni. Mr Parmee said "One of the great things about this competition is that the central point is the business idea. I have joined a number of University events related to enterprise and it is interesting that in many of them it is the idea of being an entrepreneur that is foremost.
“Maybe that has something to do with the perception that entrepreneurs are wealthy and drive Aston Martins…but a true entrepreneur is driven by the passion of the idea. That is what keeps us working long hours, seven days a week. If you get lucky and the idea just happens to be successful - the Aston Martin follows from that!"
The team now plan to spend the money on professional design advice for their device and in creating a fully functional prototype. The team’s design was on display at the IfM’s annual Design Show http://www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/met/design/2010/.
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