Judges choose Twipes for prize provided by the Citi Foundation
Winning project aims to ease pressure on London’s sewers
LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Two City University students will receive a £20,000 investment from the
Citi Foundation after winning this year’s Mayor’s Entrepreneur
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, presented the winning students Alborz
Bozorgi and Ellenor McIntosh – creators of the winning entry Twipes –
with their prize at a ceremony at City Hall.
Entrants were asked to come up with creative solutions to the
environmental and social challenges London faces – and more than 300
entries from 37 institutions were whittled down to the final shortlist,
with nearly 599 students involved.
The 10 shortlisted entries – representing seven London universities –
spent the day pitching their ideas to the expert judges. They then faced
the pressure of answering questions about all aspects of their ideas
from the panel, which included perfumer and entrepreneur Jo Malone,
Citi’s Chairman of Energy Banking, Niels Kirk, and founder of Bio-bean,
Twipes are eco-friendly, antibacterial toilet wipes which are dispensed
from a roll similar to toilet paper, are free from harsh chemicals and –
crucially – disintegrate in water in just three hours.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “As London’s population grows the
pressure on our infrastructure increases with it. Alborz and Ellenor are
to be commended for tackling this challenge head on and they should be
very proud of what they have achieved.
“I’m hugely impressed by the quality of entries. It’s testament to the
creativity and talent in London’s world-leading universities that such a
range of innovative solutions have been developed to make our city a
better place for future generations.”
Winner Ellenor said: “Winning was absolutely fantastic. Having the Mayor
endorse our product and our idea gives us such validation.”
Fellow winner Alborz added: “All the judges are heads of their
industries and to have them believe in our product is amazing.”
Judge Niels Kirk said: “Citi are excited to be supporting the Mayor’s
Low Carbon Entrepreneur award. Today’s finalists have developed
environmentally and socially-minded business propositions and should all
be incredibly proud to have reached the final of this competition.
“We believe in the importance of supporting today’s urban youth with the
Mayor’s Fund for London to help catalyse jobs and develop
entrepreneurial and innovative mind-sets, so that they are empowered and
career ready. As a global business we see first-hand the impact
unemployment has on young people the world over, and the influence this
can have on their self-esteem and future prospects.
“This year the Citi Foundation has expanded their commitment to support
young people with $100 million to reach 500,000 young people with
training and jobs worldwide over the next three years.”
Other shortlisted entries included, a device for engines and gas boilers
that removes nitrogen from the air entering the equipment. a robotic arm
to enable stroke patients to complete more rehab at home and a
biodegradable substitute for leather made from carbon-neutral mushrooms.
Notes to editors
- The full shortlist of entries is available here: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/environment/smart-london-and-innovation/mayor-entrepreneur-2017.
The judging panel consisted of:
- Garry Moore – founder, Propelair
- Jo Malone MBE – perfumer and entrepreneur
- Jenny Tooth OBE – CEO, UK Business Angels Association
Niels Kirk – Chairman of Energy Banking, Citi and Head of Climate
& Sustainability Council
- Christian Lane – CEO, Smarter.am
- Arthur Kay – CEO, Bio-bean and former competition winner