Prize to develop app to help healthcare workers

Published: 3 May 2019 at 11:00

Big Pitch cheque presentation

Wellbeing app and online grocery store win thousands at The Big Pitch 2019

A student nurse has won £5,000 to develop an app to help healthcare workers deal with the trauma they face on shift on a day-to-day basis, as part of Anglia Ruskin University’s The Big Pitch competition.

Final-year Adult Nursing student Hollie Lawrence, 21, plans to develop an app which will give busy healthcare workers a quick and easy way to get advice which can help them to deal with the often traumatic scenes they face working on the front line of emergency care.

As well as the prize money, Hollie also won three days’ business mentoring in Spain courtesy of event sponsors Simboc, and a one-year membership of the Future Business Centre by Allia, where she will work with their team to help develop her project.

Hollie, who is from Clacton, said:

“As a student nurse, I feel I would have benefited from this innovation during my training. Because nurses have a busy lifestyle, they can go home and download the app and it’s anonymous. 

“To take the time out to approach an existing service is quite a big thing especially when sometimes people are concerned about identifying they have a need and might feel like they almost have to be a robot. As student nurses, we need to be able to deal with a situation for that person in your care.”

Other prize winners on the night included Kudzaishe Tawengwa, who won £4,500 to develop her store Chops Grocery, which sources ingredients to allow people to cook African and Caribbean meals. Mechanical Engineering student Chris Gibbons, whose wooden shopping basket aims to cut down on plastic waste produced by stores, won the Engineers in Business Award, which was for £3,000.

Caroline Hill won the Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award and will receive £1,000 to help develop her business introducing young people to robotics projects.

The annual Big Pitch competition is open to all current Anglia Ruskin University students and is sponsored by prominent local businesses. The first round saw 45 entrants upload a 60-second video explaining their idea. The 25 with the most votes went through to a Residential Boot Camp at the Moller Institute, where they developed their idea and perfected their pitch. 

The boot camp judges selected the final eight to present at the final at Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus – where a panel of judges decided on how to split the £10,000 prize fund pot and additional prizes.

Professor Gary Packham, Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law at Anglia Ruskin, said:

“As an academic community we pride ourselves on promoting and supporting student enterprise and entrepreneurship.

“We are passionate about ensuring our graduates possess an entrepreneurial mindset and become a positive force for change, helping to transform lives, industry and communities.”