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Optical device wins Aston Enterprise Competition 

Aston Enterprise Competition winner 2017

The annual Aston University Enterprise Competition was held on Thursday 16 March. The competition culminated in a dragon’s den style final in which the winner, Life and Health Science student, Rashida Makda, impressed the judges with her optical fixation sticks for children and was awarded the first prize of £500 from EY. She was also crowned the audience favourite using the Vox Vote app and received two free tickets to Enterprise Nation’s ‘Meet the Journalist’ event taking place at Aston University on the 18th July. 

Rashida’s business will produce fixation sticks with unique printed images on that will help maintain children’s attention. Rashida commented “After studying Orthoptics for a year and undergoing hospital placements around the country, I have noticed that it is extremely difficult to test children within a professional environment. My products will help healthcare professionals to engage and build a rapport with the child, and therefore they will be able to get more accurate results from the appointment.”

Close runner up was Saira Hussain, final year Sociology student, with her guilt free desserts. She was awarded £250 from Santander Universities. Saira explained “After carrying out extensive market research I realised that there is a gap in the market for protein desserts. I have designed an entire menu of protein desserts which consist of pancakes, waffles, peanut butter cups and caramel shortbreads. These are made with a unique blend of natural ingredients with no processed sugar.”

The judging panel was made up of experts including Ibukun Makinde, Advisory Associate, EY, Paula Whitehouse, Director for Aston Centre for Growth and Mike Bandar, Founding Partner, Turnpartners.

Paula Whitehouse commented “The standard in this year’s final was particularly high and selecting a winner and runner up was a tough task. Our students are really enterprising and this event is a great showcase for their ideas. We were impressed by all the finalists this evening. However Rashida’s presentation really stood out and could be taken to market relatively easily and quickly.”

For more information about student and graduate enterprise support at Aston University email enterprise@aston.ac.uk