I look at the screen and smile. After an intensive six-hour lab session involving lots of careful pipetting, I’m ecstatic that the experiment I’ve spent weeks on has succeeded at last.
At the moment, I’m based in a biology research unit at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies on the planet. I’ve been on placement here for over nine months; I still can’t quite believe it some days.
Newcastle University student, John Cornilious, wins regional final of Barclays Local Genius
John Cornilious is a final year Biomedical Sciences student who presently holds the role of Student Enterprise Ambassador for the School of Biomedical Sciences. He has been undertaking various entrepreneurship activities both on and off-campus. Recently, John entered the Barclays Local Genius (BLG) competition with his charity concept; Pamba Pedu. BLG is a platform for student entrepreneurs with tech-based and socially responsible ideas throughout the U.K. to receive professional training and compete for experienced mentorship and potential funding.
Pamba Pedu means “Our house” in Shona, a common language in Zimbabwe. The concept is a digital platform that will enable victims of domestic violence to find free overnight accommodation whenever they do not feel safe. Organisations of faith, hotels and registered foster parents (to name a few) can register their rooms in a volunteer capacity on the platform. Victims will be able to view these options and select suitable refuge based on factors such as distance. The mobile App will also be a comprehensive directory of available resources, including counselling, and network for support with other victims.
In the regional heats, held in Radbroke, there were six teams. The range of ideas pitched to the judging panel of senior Barclays staff and external entrepreneurs, were diverse, each tackling very different problems. Amongst the competitors were projects such as CharityPick; a mobile application that lets you search for a cause which matters to you and find local charities engaging in that cause – a trivago for charities. It is mutually beneficial as it gives a voice to local charities struggling to create awareness and visibility, and empowers the donors to choose the right charity for them and donate flexibly. Another project was Stooswap: a platform allowing students to swap their rooms on a temporary basis. For example, if a student from Manchester is travelling to London and another student from London is travelling to Manchester in the same period, Stooswap connects the two students so they both get a free place to stay. This way the student community has another avenue for enhancing connection and social experience through travel with no accommodation cost.
The participants concurred that BLG availed a special opportunity to practice pitching skills and consider all the aspects of a business as part of the planning process. Stooswap told John that they have learnt how they can improve their idea. CharityPick said, “We would recommend students across the UK to participate in Local Genius even if you’re not entirely sure about embarking on the entrepreneurial path as it has a lot to offer.” The feedback from the judges was specific for each idea and this was immensely useful. John will now go forward to the national final in London on the 10th April to compete against other regional finalist and runner up teams. Good luck John!
John Cornilius was appointed as the School of Biomedical Sciences first ever Student Enterprise Ambassador earlier this year. Through a series of blog posts, his youtube channel and his LinkedIn profile, John aims to share reflections on his own enterprise journey. Follow along by clicking the #EntrepreneurshipDiary tag or the link in the sidebar.
Background Story Part #2
Today I am continuing from my last video telling you guys the steps I have taken to get to my current position in terms of setting up my start up.
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By John Cornilious – Student Enterprise Ambassador, and Stage 3 Biomedical Sciences
Newcastle University showcased some of its up and coming entrepreneurs at the 2018 Start Up Business Expo. Student Enterprise Ambassador John went along to meet the innovators (including one of our School of Biomedical Sciences alumni) and to find out how the University supports new business ideas. Hear what he found out at the event and about some of the interesting entrepreneurs he met.
December saw our Summer placement poster presentation event with research presented from across the Faculty of Medical Sciences.
First of all, let me thank all of you who presented/provided posters for the event, it was fantastic to see your hard work up on those poster boards in our swanky new lab! Secondly, I’d like to thank all of you who attended, asked questions and engaged with the event (not just for the mince pies). Finally I’d like to thank our judges who did a sterling job deciding our prize winners! Continue reading “Summer Placement Poster Presentation Event 2018”
By Sam Murray – 3rd Year Biomedical Sciences student
Vacation Research Project
During the summer I worked alongside scientists in the Institute of Cellular Medicine in Newcastle University to complete a 8-week research project in Complement Immunology, and was paid £200 a week to do so! I produced a poster to communicate my research and defended it at the university wide Celebrating Research Scholarships & Expeditions presentation evening. I was awarded a Commendation for oral defence of the poster and also won 3rd prize at the School of Biomedical Sciences Summer placement poster presentations. Continue reading “My summer research really ‘complemented’ my degree”
Scientists in Newcastle are harnessing bacteria’s own defence mechanisms to create new antibiotic drugs. I spent my year in industry in the laboratory, working alongside these scientists searching for the mechanisms that could potentially be used to treat bacterial and fungal infections in humans.