Dean Paton, from Chester-based social enterprise Big Heritage, walked away with the top prize of £5,000 in the first ever University Entrepreneurs Challenge awards, staged alongside the second Educate North conference and awards. The second and third prizes were awarded to 4Lunch and The Aim Sky High Company.

This new business competition was run in association with The Telegraph Media Group, Barclays and key sponsors including Utopia Technologies, The Alliance Manchester Business School, UMIP (Intellectual Property arm of University of Manchester) and UCLan (University of Central Lancashire), with UCLan being the prime funder of the Challenge.

UCLan logoSix shortlisted businesses (all established by Northern University alumni) faced a nerve-wracking three-minute pitch in front of four leading business leaders followed by a five-minute ‘interrogation’.

The judging panel comprised businessman Laurie Pinto, entrepreneur Phil Hodari, Martin Henery from Manchester University Enterprise Centre and Chris Callaway, the Spark Up programme co-ordinator for Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce.

The panel also included David Taylor, chair of the UCLan executive board and a highly successful businessman in his own right through his private vehicle DTP, which specialises in investing in and supporting start-ups and restructuring emerging businesses.

You can read the full press release here.