Salford team wins national enterprise competition

Categories: Salford Business School

A team of students from the University of Salford have won a national enterprise competition and will now represent the UK in the European final.

Team hearNprotect developed a device to prevent ear damage in people who work around loud music or other noise, after impressing the judges with their presentation and plans to develop the business.

They competed in the UK finals earlier this month and will now go on to the European finals which are taking place between 10th and 15th of July, in Tallinn, Estonia.

Team member Jake Naylor said: “It was a brilliant feeling to hear them say we were through to the European final. We didn’t know how to react at first, we were in total shock. I think it’s only just really sunk in.”

Alongside earning a place in the European final, the team won a social media presence and marketing award and Jake also won UK student of the year award. He said: “It’s an amazing personal achievement, but I wouldn’t be here at the competition without the rest of the team, so I definitely regard it as a group award.”

The three-man team of second year students from the Business School, including Arran Macdonald and Jordan Hall, have developed a prototype ear protector that dampens the vibrations in the ears but doesn’t affect the sound quality. They hope it 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.

Jake said they’re excited to contend at the finals later this year, after competing previously in the north-west and national finals. He added: “We’re aware of how much effort we’ve put in through the entire process and we really believe in the product itself so that helps take away from nerves of competing.”

Jake said that him and the team can’t credit staff at the university enough for the time, support and enthusiasm they have offered.

He said: “Jonathan Owens, Gabi Round and Hems de Winter have all been incredible, they’ve helped us every step of the way. They’ve continued to put time aside to assist us and boost our confidence when we’ve needed it. Gabi in particular was selfless with her time and really gave us great advice and was a huge help.”

Gabi Round said: “The hearNprotect team have a strong entrepreneurial spirit, they are never afraid to learn a new skill or take a risk. The way in which they have developed in confidence and professionalism through this module is outstanding, and a testament to their dedication. It has been a pleasure being their academic mentor through this process, I don’t doubt that they will be hugely successful.”

Module Leader Dr Owens said: “hearNprotect’s journey has been fabulous and they have taken so much from the module and the Young Enterprise Start Up Programme. 

“The university’s industrial strategy is closely aligned to providing these kind of learning environments for all our students where they can experience real-word outcomes within their academic journey, so it has been fantastic to see hearNprotect gaining so much and developing an enterprising and entrepreneurial product.”  

To learn more about the hearing protection developed by hearNprotect check out their Instagram @hearnprotect

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