Six businesses have been shortlisted in the battle to win the first ever University Entrepreneurs Challenge.

The new business competition is part of Educate North Conference and Awards and run in association with The Telegraph Media Group, Barclays and key sponsors including The Alliance Manchester Business School, the University of Manchester Intellectual Property and UCLan.

Educate - North founder Rob McLoughlin

Educate – North founder Rob McLoughlin

Organisers wanted to find the best and most impressive businesses that had been founded by graduates, undergraduates, postgraduate or staff from the higher education sector across the North.

“We were really blown away by the standard of entries,” said Educate – North founder Rob McLoughlin.

“The six companies that have been selected are some of the most innovative, creative and exciting businesses to have been born out of the university enterprise sector.”

The shortlisted businesses are:

  • Big Heritage, an award-winning social enterprise company started by Dean Paton, which delivers unique projects that focus on specific heritage themes to engage people with the heritage of their own community.
  • 4Lunch, started by Amy Win, is also a social enterprise that delivers catering services, street food markets and cookery programmes in Greater Manchester.
  • The Aim Sky High Company, a Northern based dance organisation started by Christina Taylor. It works with children and young people aged 4-18 years old, addressing social issues through dance. They teach lifelong transferable skills such as teamwork, encourage confidence, perseverance, goal setting, career planning and more.
  • ShinDigger Brewing Company, started by Paul Delamere and George Grant. They began their journey in 2012 as students. After pooling some spare cash they bought a home-brew kit making the beer in the kitchen and fermenting it in the basement of their student house. They are now gypsy brewers – brewing their recipes at a commercial scale on other breweries’ equipment.
  • Bikmo is a technology company started by David George. The business is comprised of a diverse group of tech, marketing and customer experience geeks who are passionate about cycling, and improving the lives of cyclists through the innovative use of technology and great user experience.
  • Biorelate was created by Dr Daniel Jamieson and converts published research into novel therapeutics.

Each entrepreneur has just three minutes to pitch their business to a panel of judges who include former Flying Start judge David Taylor, former Pali International chairman Laurie Pinto, entrepreneur Phil Hodari and academic Martin Henery.

After a Q&A from the judges, the winners will be revealed during the Educate North awards dinner on Thursday evening.