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Pioneer winners crowned in an exhilarating Virtual Awards Evening

On Thursday 18 June six students pitched their innovative businesses to a panel of judges in a thrilling Virtual Pioneer Awards Evening. 

They were cheered on by the 70+ audience members who came along to support and celebrate this year’s programme. 

The judges had a tough time deciding on the winners of the Best Business Idea and Best Business Pitch categories, eventually crowning their champions. 

Best Business Pitch went to Alexander Flint Mitchell, MSc Business Innovation with Entrepreneurship student, with his business Blind Cupid – an online dating platform based on shared philosophies and deeper connections. 

Best Business Idea went to Hetty Bonney-Mercer, BA Global Politics and International Relations student, with her business FemInStyle Africa - a digital magazine for women, by women, focusing on female change-makers speaking truth to power. 

A shocked Hetty reflected on her win, “This means so much to us at FemInStyle Africa, thank you to the judges and Pioneer for believing in us and giving us the opportunity to showcase what we are doing!”

Lucy Robinson, Pioneer Programme Lead, said “The work that all of the finalists have put into their pitches is absolutely staggering and it really paid off for all of them. They’re all working hard on their businesses and always looking to expand their networks and we hope it will also prompt many people to reach out and support them on their journeys.”

Jenna Davies, Careers & Enterprise Manager, said, “Pioneer has become a signature part of the support for entrepreneurial students at Birkbeck and tonight was a brilliant celebration for everyone involved in this year’s programme. The virtual Awards yesterday evening demonstrated the creativity and team spirit of Pioneer ensuring we ended in style with our outstanding finalists.”

Pioneer will continue in the new academic year and for the first time it is also being offered as a dedicated Short Course for non-Birkbeck students to apply to join. 

Applications for current Birkbeck students and graduates within 2 years will open in September 2020.