Exeter students place second in Saïd Business School All-Innovate Competition
This term, Exonians Wanlin Xiao (2019, PPE), Kezia Susanto (2019, Engineering) and Zheqing Zhang (2020, Medicine) competed in the inter-collegiate All-Innovate Competition. They placed second for their idea, ‘i-Opto’, the first ever digital app optometry solution.
All-Innovate is a highly competitive entrepreneurial challenge, led by the Saïd Business School’s Entrepreneurship Centre, in collaboration with the Oxford colleges. The competition challenges students to develop an idea which addresses real challenges and can achieve impact, for the chance to win a share of £30,000.
The competition is a fantastic opportunity for students of all disciplines to get involved in the world of start-ups and develop an entrepreneurial skill-set. ‘We wanted to try something new’, says Kezia Susanto, recalling how their team was formed over dinner, as the trio brainstormed ideas and found that, between them, they had the right skillset to execute the project.
Wanlin, Kezia and Zheqing combined their respective business, engineering, and medical knowledge to develop an app which allows users to have a full eye exam and store all their eye health data in one place. The app offers a quick and low-cost alternative to traditional eye exams, within a growing market. Through careful analysis of both feasible eye testing technology and possible streams of revenue for the product, the team developed a compelling idea, which impressed judges and took them through to the final of the competition.
Kezia describes the exciting and empowering process of generating and developing an entrepreneurial idea. ‘We had to be agile’, she notes, explaining how the team had to rethink their strategies at various points in the competition. ‘It’s important to not be hung up on the initial idea’.
Exeter College congratulates Wanlin, Kezia and Zheqing on their impressive achievement, and we look forward to seeing how they develop as young entrepreneurs, within the important and ever-expanding field of healthcare.