Twipes trumps Mayor’s Entrepreneur 2017
Alborz and Ellenor from City University of London recently won the Mayor’s Entrepreneur competition. They also bagged £20k from Citi Foundation to develop their idea. We spoke to the pair to hear more…
How did you come up with the idea for Twipes?
Ellenor: We were talking to a good friend over breakfast. He said he uses both toilet paper and wet wipes in the bathroom. Now you can’t flush wet wipes. So we thought about putting wipes on a roll and making them flushable. As a scientist, I looked into how that might work practically.
What made you enter the competition?
Alborz: It was recommended to us actually. We met last year’s winners from Imperial College and kept in contact. Everyone speaks so highly of it.
Ellenor: It gives validation to your idea, and is a great way to get your idea heard by market leaders.
How did you find the experience?
Alborz: We’ve been in a lot of competitions, but this was the first one that had a high profile, respected celebrity endorsement. You realise they’re just people you need to impress at the end of the day. The training was interesting. It gave us a different perspective on how to view your business. It was useful to learn more about pitching too, how to stand and what to do.
What have you been up to since winning?
Alborz: It’s been non-stop to be honest. We met the Princess Royal today. We got onto a clean tech accelerator from Birmingham. We were pitching to Deloitte yesterday and have a 20 minute talk to City University students!
Ellenor: Loads of people have been contacting us. There’s been a lot of press. People saying, ‘we’d love to have you on board’.
How are you going to use the £20k prize money?
Alborz: I think the main chunk is going to go towards polishing and refining the products, then manufacturing them. We hope to get in a few boutique health stores like Holland and Barrett.
Ellenor: Longer term we need to get it into places like Waitrose and Ocado. Places that have a slightly greener message.
What would you say to someone thinking of entering next year’s competition?
Ellenor: Be very prepared - not only on the pitch itself, but the question and answer session. Even if you’re very busy, it’s worth putting the time in.
Alborz: Especially if Arthur Kay from bio-bean is on the panel! He is tough. You know I think it’s a fantastic achievement to reach the final. It’s great to put on your CV. I’d tell any student entrepreneurs to apply!
Are you the next Mayor’s Entrepreneur? Register your interest: www.london.gov.uk/entrepreneur