Catapult staff finish as runners-up in Oxford University’s ‘Idea Idol’ competition



In January, Catapult employees Tom Oaten, Anoop Pandey and Christophe Christiean entered the Oxford University’s 2017 “Idea Idol” competition, run by Oxford Entrepreneurs, where anyone with a business idea can participate.

The month-long competition started with a 200-word business idea summary and culminated with a 2.5 minute pitch for a panel of investors and an audience of entrepreneurs, students and a loud Catapult fan base. Out of 150 submissions, 30 were shortlisted to submit a two-page business plan, after which six pitched in the grand finals.

The Catapult team, with their product ‘Stroom’ (the Flemish word for both ‘power’ and ‘stream’) pitched their idea at the grand finals on  1 February at the Said Business School. The pitching event showed some strong contestants ranging from an exoskeleton glove for Parkinson’s disease to a happiness app and indigenous Mexican blue superfood. As the most premature idea of all, Stroom managed to finish second and win a prize worth £1,000!

What is Stroom?

Stroom will provide farmers with a user-friendly, cost-effective tool for farmers and landowners to generate their own electricity through small-scale hydropower. Stroom will automate and streamline all the preparatory work required for a hydropower installation. This is currently a rather labour-intensive, time-consuming and expensive process. Stroom will use satellite imagery and machine learning techniques to achieve this.

If you would like to learn more about their project and would like to offer some support or advice, please contact Christophe.Christiaen@sa.catapult.org.uk.

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