VFA logo with support session text

Previous Winners

Over the past 20 years, the Venture Further Awards Start-up Competition has created over one hundred businesses. Take a look at some of our past winners below.



Marco Rodriguez Frias - Naxca LTD

Naxca LTD is on a mission to optimise and electrify space heating systems. Using technology and data-driven strategies to unlock the potential for lower running costs and reduced carbon emissions. 



Gergana Ivanova - NanoGraft Limited

NanoGraft is a health tech start-up focused on helping restore sensation to lower limb amputees. We are developing a wearable device that provides sensory stimulus to the user and allows them to feel the ground when walking. This addresses the issue of sensory feedback absence from current prosthetic legs. It also mitigates phantom limb pain and lets the user improve their gait and stability to make prosthesis use easier and more comfortable without the fear of falling.




Thomas Chiu - Hive: Student and Industry STEM Solutions LTD

HiveSpace tackles the problem of space-related skills shortages in the rapidly growing space sector. Through HiveSpace’s Industry Sponsored Space projects, space businesses across the UK can connect with the next generation of talent and students can explore space-related design projects aimed at generating the high-demand skills they need to kickstart their careers in space.




Brenda Poku - Active Ageing Initiative CIC

Active Ageing Initiative (AGI) supports older adults across Ghana to age with dignity and respect. They train partner institutions to implement the AGI framework, advocate to prioritise care for older adults, and conduct research to develop the framework. AGI works with elderly adults, religious institutions, community groups, NGOs, governmental, social and health care agencies, hospitals, national pension associations, pensioners’ groups, and residential homes to drive real change.



Mehdi Boutagouga Boudjadja - Metofico LTD

Metofico supplies custom solutions for life scientists to manage and process the deluge of data produced by modern life science experiments. The mission is to provide the best solutions to enable researchers to produce the best scientific outputs.




Steve Philip - Urban Panel

Urban Panel is a building material manufacturer and building contractor who are streamlining the construction industry. Non-sustainable materials, material wastage and delays in construction has been accepted as the norm in the industry. Through modularising the building down to individual floor, wall and roof panels, Urban Panel pieces together an efficient package to meet your building needs.



Chrisoula Chappell - Organoid Solutions

Organoid Solutions has developed a technology that will rebuild fat tissue by utilising an artificial blood capillary network, for women that have undergone complete mastectomies due to invasive breast cancer. In the future we hope that the technology could be applied to other tissues like the skin, kidneys, liver and eyes.



Farris Ramsy - Manchester Students' Group

MSG is an online platform enabling instant communication and information sharing with the student community. We hope to one day be a nationwide tool for students to get the most of their university experience, providing a tool for them to find themselves by finding the right things to do and the right people to do it with.



Bethany Barnes - Alternative Football

Alternative Football provides the first inclusive, adult women’s and non-binary football league in North England. Being inclusive means everybody feels welcome; it’s about creating an atmosphere that each individual feels comfortable being involved in, regardless of skill, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or financial background. Our focus isn’t just football, it's creating a connected community, a support-network and a place where people feel that they matter.




Abhishek Ghosh - Praeferre

Positioned in the growing cybersecurity market, Praeferre is strengthening privacy management with blockchain. Using it to track and trade data, the Praeferre SaaS platform provides individuals with a single point of control for data privacy and customer rewards across all their digital touch points. It connects companies with those customer preferences, providing automatic compliance and access to additional layers of data that customers choose to share.




Sophia Major - IGOLO

IGOLO is an online hub promoting sustainability in the home constructionindustry by making the know-how, materials and expertise more accessible to homeowners and allowing more people to take control of their own projects using sustainable products and services. By empowering users with tools, products, stories and projects, IGOLO inspires homeowners to work towards a brighter and more sustainable future, encouraging the building industry and its customers to think and work sustainably.




Maribel Montufar Martinez - Simplex Molecular

Simplex Molecular is a biotech start-up developing a new diagnostic system to detect antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This novel test will detect bacterial DNA and its innovative system will allow users to perform the test without laboratory equipment or complex training. It will support healthcare professionals to accurately identify antibiotic-resistant infections and prescribe the right antibiotic, which could prevent future epidemics.



Ross Neilson - What's Fresh

What's Fresh aims to develop a platform enabling customers to order high quality, fresh, local produce, by monetising the 'shop local' experience and giving local farmers a competitive advantage. It offers the potential for local farmers and growers the 'Just Eat' revolution provided for takeaway businesses. 




Elijah Ajuwon - Arkisites

Arkisites is on a mission to improve racial diversity and inclusion in the technical sector, acting in a strategic consulting role to support diversity and inclusion agendas and also carry out grassroots community engagement to build online communities for experience-sharing, new ideas and foster collaboration.




Mohammad El Hajj - Bright Biotech

Bright Biotech is developing high quality and affordable recombinant proteins in plants for research and therapeutic markets. Chloroplast expression can produce large amounts of high value proteins such as human growth factors that are difficult and expensive to manufacture by traditional methadologies. Increasing the supply of these proteins at reduced cost increases the pace of fundamental and translational research, leading to the sustainable production of cost-effective and safe biologic drugs and therapies.