2020 Competition

Downing Enterprise 2020 // The Results

We are pleased to announce that the cash prize winners of the first Downing Enterprise 2020 Pitch Event on the 10th March are:

Aquaer £2000

Empads £2000

Charlie £1000

Audilyne £1000

Following the first event, we invited back the winners to pitch for a second time in a private event on the 11th June. Aquaer, Empads and Charlie presented their developed business ideas for a chance to secure further investments, which totalled £45,000 this year! All three teams were offered investment sums, and the final investments are as follows:

Aquaer £25,000

Charlie £5,000

Well done to all of the teams that took part in this year’s Downing Enterprise competition.



We believe that ambient computing is the future and that the hardware required to bring about this change has been adopted at scale in the form of Apple’s AirPods and true wireless earbuds. The missing link which is required to bring about the ambient computing revolution is a platform which enables interactive content and audio AR experiences to be pinned to locations in the physical world. Our mission at Audilyne is to build this platform.


Reusing knowledge and experience well can make or break an engineering organisation. However, much of this value is kept within the minds of experienced senior engineers. Imminent retirements and a skills gap means that knowledge will likely be lost unless better support is developed. Research developed in partnership with UK industry has sought to understand these challenges. The result is the development of a software support system that automatically records, structures and contextually manages engineering activity. The collected data is analysed to provide feedback to engineers, such as relevant advice, existing solutions and pertinent communications etc. to help provide better real-time assistance.


Empads is a frugal innovation with the vision of empowering women. We aim to provide sanitary pads to women to free them from their biological constraints. Currently, millions of menstruating women in India cannot afford to buy feminine hygiene products at market price. Meanwhile, millions of tons of discarded clothing from the fast fashion industry from developed countries are sent to developing countries annually. Our venture will lengthen the utility life of these disposed textiles that end in landfill by manufacturing and repurposing them into sanitary pads to tackle the large unmet need of millions of women.

Abridge Academy

Abridge Academy is a social enterprise passionate about developing cultural links between the UK and China, inspiring language learning, and supporting the next generation of UK teachers. We do this through offering teaching opportunities at summer camp and homestay cultural exchange programs in China. Currently, the business is small (with 83 participants in summer 2019) but with the potential to develop significantly. In particular, we are working to expand into additional countries in Asia as well as selling access to our high quality online training courses to other summer camp and homestay organisations.


Vamos is an interactive online career planning and guidance platform and recruitment portal that provides personalised insights to students about career pathways whilst increasing their engagement with university careers services and employers. As a social enterprise, improving social mobility in terms of graduate outcomes is at the heart of what we do. Our team consists of 6 Cambridge students from underrepresented backgrounds, studying a range of undergraduate and postgraduate subjects, but all sharing a common passion for empowering students to take control of their future.


The primary remit of this business is to develop journal software for quick comparison of the user’s thoughts about academic literature. This will be achieved with a standardised questionnaire, tied to a DOI, with hashtags allowing quick comparison of literature read by the user. The responses will be logged in an online database that allows anyone e.g academics, students, businesses, media outlets, government (civil servants), to develop a quick grasp of literature without extensive knowledge of the field. The role of the database is to provide an alternative metric to number of citations, impact factor of journal etc.


Aquaer is a Biotechnology company that provides disinfection solutions using cold-fogging with Electro-Oxygenated water. Our technology aims to improve hygiene standards for patients and workers in the Healthcare sector. Our mission is to provide environment- and patient-friendly disinfection of air and surfaces in order to prevent hospital-borne infections (i.e. MRSA, Lysteria, Legionella). The technology comes from the Obisan Institute in Slovenia, which is a pioneer in applying cold-fogging technology and ecological biocides to disinfecting spaces.