Union Southampton awards student projects, FuseMind and EthiCo, £500 investment each, as part of the Enterprise Fund 2016.

The businesses, formed by University of Southampton students, were each awarded £250 from the Enterprise Fund, an initiative to encourage students to develop their innovative events, activities and projects. A further £250 was match-funded by Union President, Alex Hovden and awarded to each project.

One of the founding members of innovative academic search platform, FuseMind, Mauro Cozzi, says, “We’re really excited to hear that Union Southampton believes in FuseMind and is happy to invest in us. The funding will allow us to finish our prototype and start testing the product in preparation for the local Dragon’s Den and TakeOff competitions in 2017. We’d like to say a big thank you to the Union for running the Enterprise Fund competition. In the short run, it has pushed us to work hard and learn fast. In the long run, we’re confident this will propel us toward ever greater accomplishments. ”

The second business, EthiCo, promotes reusable products in order to reduce single-use plastic waste on campus and in the local community. The start-up, founded by four students at the University of Southampton, aims to provide students and staff with the means to consume food, drink and other products in an ethical and sustainable way.

Our Vice-President Engagement, Dan Varley, Student Enterprise Officer, Serban Berariu, and Union President, Alex Hovden were present on the Enterprise Fund panel, who chose the winners out of eleven submitted projects.

Dan Varley says, “We had more students than ever engage in the fund this year, which is brilliant. It was quite a challenge to choose between the different business ideas – they were all so strong. Last year was such a huge success when a student, who benefitted from our funding, presented their idea at the United Nations. I hope success stories like this will inspire our members to be more confident in their business ideas!”

Stay tuned for the businesses which are set for big things in 2017.