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Sustainable start-ups scoop £30,000 in University contest

The winners: Weronika Stelmach from Weaving Change, Artemis Fragkopoulos from SLANT, Louisa Billington from Accommodeep and Deeshen Shah from Lettus Digest

The crowd awaits the winners of the New Enterprise Competition

Some of he finalists of the New Enterprise Competition

Press release issued: 20 June 2024

A start-up that is fighting fast fashion by digitising customers’ wardrobes has won a share of £30,000 in funding.

Weaving Change’s app will model users’ clothes on a personalised avatar and use an algorithm to suggest outfit ideas.

It was one of four businesses to win in the University of Bristol’s New Enterprise Competition. Fifteen student and graduate start-ups pitched their business plans to a panel of business experts and the winners were announced at a special event last night.

Weaving Change won £7,500 and a six-month membership at the award-winning University of Bristol tech incubator, SETsquared Bristol. SETsquared Bristol is also one of the competition sponsors.

The team behind the start-up, who met at the University of Bristol, say it will “connect people with their wardrobes” and encourage them to buy fewer clothes by giving them fresh outfit ideas.

Weaving Change CEO Weronika Stelmach, who graduated top of her MSci in Chemistry, said: “It makes me feel optimistic and encouraged that funding is going toward sustainability, and sustainable fashion in particular. We’re mission-driven and it's exciting to see there’s a space for impact-driven businesses.”

The other winners were:


SLANT - £15,000 and 12-month membership at SETsquared Bristol

SLANT is building electric trolleys – called ‘e-carriages’ – to help people and businesses reduce their car dependency. They want to reduce unnecessary car journeys and help those who do not drive to move their shopping, children or cargo easily and sustainably. 

SLANT was started by a team of five who met on the University of Bristol’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship master’s program.

They won the top prize of £15,000 and 12 months’ membership at SETsquared Bristol. They also won a bonus £3,000 funded by Engineers in Business.

SLANT Co-founder Artemis Fragkopoulos said he was “ecstatic”. He added: “It is amazing. We’ll use this to develop a minimal marketable product, to get preorders and to start generating revenue.”


Accommodeep - £2,500

Accommodeep is developing the first wearable “deep pressure device” that is suitable for “people with breasts”.

Started by University of Bristol Economics graduate Louisa Billington, it builds on research that shows deep pressure – such as weighted blankets – can relieve anxiety, particularly for people with ADHD and autism. Accommodeep says the market currently does not provide deep pressure vests that fit women’s different body shapes.


Lettus Digest - £1,500

Each year, finalists in the competition can also compete for the People’s Choice Award, which is decided by a public vote. This year’s winner, Lettus Digest, offers a “comprehensive solution to reduce landfill refusals, improve waste flows and foster sustainable resource management”.

The judging panel of the University of Bristol’s New Enterprise Competition is made up of University staff, University alumni and local business leaders. This year the judges were:

  • Professor Michele Barbour - Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise and Innovation at the University of Bristol
  • Rupert Baker - Founder of  TEAM Up, University of Bristol Mechanical Engineering graduate, previous winner of the New Enterprise Competition and a sponsor of the competition
  • Nathan Guest - Partner and Solicitor at VWV LLP and New Enterprise Competition sponsor
  • Hannah Chappatte - Founder and CEO of Hybr, University of Bristol English and Literature graduate and previous winner of the New Enterprise Competition 
  • Paul Forster - Business Incubation Manager at SETsquared Bristol

The competition was organised by the University of Bristol Careers Service.

Rob Taffinder, Assistant Director of the Careers Service, said:  “We were incredibly impressed by the creative and innovative pitches that these students and graduates brought to the New Enterprise Competition. No doubt they will go on to achieve business success.

“Thank you to our generous sponsors and judging panel, and all of the staff in the University of Bristol Careers Service and Basecamp Enterprise Team who made this possible.”

Kim Brook, the Director of SETsquared Bristol, said: “The New Enterprise Competition has in its 24-year history spotted some amazing entrepreneurial talent including Ultraleap (then Ultrahaptics), iCOMAT, Lettus Grow and Peequal.

“We're delighted this year to offer incubation support to SLANT and Weaving Change and look forward to working with the founders to take their business ideas to the next level.”

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