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Guided by expert mentors, students generated cutting-edge concepts, received mentorship and pitched to win funding towards implementing their vision.

The LucEnt Challenge, sponsored by Cambridge Precision Ltd, fosters entrepreneurial spirit among Lucy Cavendish College students, inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Participants form multi-disciplinary teams, pooling their diverse skills to tackle real-world problems.

The College’s commitment to inclusion was reflected in the diverse makeup of the participants, their educational and cultural insights, and their combined commitment to a better world. Throughout the weekend, they received 1:1 mentorship from leading experts and serial entrepreneurs. They then have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to win funding towards implementing their vision. All participants greatly benefited from this dynamic educational experience.

After careful consideration, the judges awarded the first prize of the day, the LucEnt Prize, to PressPass: a start-up that uses AI to support more accurate journalism. PressPass is led by Lucy student, Rebecca Gatto. 

Chairman at Cambridge Precision Ltd, Richard Hefford-Hobbs, shared his enthusiasm, “This year’s Lucent Challenge has been quite remarkable, with all teams presenting very worthwhile projects and showing clear progress in the development of their ideas through engagement with the process.

There was much to commend in each of the submissions. The boldness of vision and the diversity of response illustrated by the teams as they each worked towards a sustainable development goal displayed outstanding creativity and heartfelt commitment to building a better world.

I have every confidence that some of the ideas will crystallise into viable business ventures, whilst others will achieve in creating cultural shift, and all of the individuals involved will make a meaningful contribution to society through their studies and impact”

A welcome addition to this year's Enterprise Weekend was the Female Founders Prize, a new initiative in partnership with Ankh Impact Ventures (AIV) to empower women entrepreneurs. There were two winners of this inaugural prize: Slice and EarthWise Linen.

EarthWise Linen is led by Lucy student, Ria Kasliwal, and aims to create sustainable linen using hemp and bamboo. EarthWise Linen received a grant to make this a reality.

Slice is led by Lucy student, Georgina Leadley, and aims to optimise the delivery of transplant organs. They were offered equity investment.

Ankh Impact Ventures Founder, Pierre N Rolin says “AIV proudly collaborates with educational institutions to foster entrepreneurship and make a meaningful impact on students from diverse backgrounds. Student entrepreneurship cultivates a powerful skill set that boosts confidence, risk-taking, and resilience. It empowers students to embrace failure and take bold steps on their life journey, creating widespread success for society. Embracing diversity drives innovation!

This weekend, at Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge, I witnessed entrepreneurship. The special magic that is created from very hard work between very gifted students and their mentors in play! I wish to congratulate all the participants and thank very much all the dedicated staff at Lucy Cavendish College for giving female student start-up founders the stage”.

Learn more about the inspiring teams and mentors in our event brochures.

“I’ll be thinking about what I learned this weekend for the rest of my career. It’s been the highlight of my Cambridge experience.” 
Rebecca Gatto, winner of the LucEnt Challenge.

For a glimpse into the event's energy, view our slideshow below:

College Fellow, Bruno Cotta, says “It’s been such a pleasure to champion this initiative, and I’m hugely grateful to our diverse team of mentors in this third year of the College’s Enterprise Weekend, who gave their time, energy and expertise to help promising students and alumni from many different disciplines at Lucy, together with talented students joining them from several other Cambridge Colleges. We could not have achieved such success without the valued commitment of our sponsors and donors, Cambridge Precision and Ankh Impact Ventures, who generously supported the LucEnt Challenge and Female Founders prizes. I look forward to seeing this next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs achieve great things in the future.”

*Header image (from left to right) PressPass, Slice, and EarthWise Linen.