Entrepreneurial UK students will take on the world

Categories: Salford Business School

A team of students from Salford University will take on the world after winning a Europe-wide business innovation competition.

Three Business School students developed a device that helps reduce hearing damage in people who work in sectors prone to loud noise such as live events and construction. They showcased their talent and cutting-edge business idea at the Young Enterprise European finals, in Talinn Estonia, where they claimed European Innovation Start-Up of the year.

They came first out of around 250k teams who started out and will now progress to the world finals later this year.

hearNprotect founders Jake Naylor, Arran Macdonald and Jordan Hall recognised that over 1 billion young adults are potentially at risk of permanent, avoidable hearing loss, through attendance at festivals and clubs, as well as loud working environments. They developed a prototype for a biodegradable, high-fidelity ear protector that dampens the vibrations in the ear but does not affect the sound quality.

After the win Jake Naylor, Managing Director, talked about the impact the competition has had on his life. He said: “This is something we could only dream of achieving. Our lives have completely changed, personally from being a student who found himself out of love with education in secondary, going into college completely blind about their future and moving away for university still uncertain, I now feel I’ve found my purpose in not only business but in life.”

Jordan Hall, Operations Director, said: “This has been a life changing experience from start to finish! A moment we will never forget! The support from everyone is really appreciated.”

And Arran Macdonald, Creative Director, said: “This experience has been nothing short of phenomenal and immensely eye opening. It has completely altered my perception of what’s possible. For the first time, I feel that the life I’ve thought about, with a bit of hard work and a good team, could actually be attainable.”

The team hope that their device could help the nearly 1 in 6 people who suffer with hearing problems due to excessive loud noise at work or home. They are looking to develop their business idea further and plan to establish a charitable organisation to raise awareness of the issues contributing to hearing loss.

The team were supported by Dr Jonathan Owens, lead organiser of Young Enterprise in the Business School, as well as Gabi Round and Hems de Winter.

Dr Owens said: “From a personal perspective this has to be one, if not the highlight of my teaching experience so far. I have found developing and embedding the Young Enterprise partnership into the Business school to Enable Student Success a rewarding journey and this is a peak and hugely rewarding experience.”

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.