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Web Science Institute

Best New Innovator 2019

Published: 4 April 2019

Z21 funded project 'Boon' has taken home the Best New Innovator Award at Venturefest South 2019.

Venturefest South’s annual interactive one day conference brings the region’s innovators, entrepreneurs and investors together to showcase the latest technology and explore new ideas, featuring great speakers, seminars and workshops and investor pitching sessions, and product demonstrations.

Electronic Engineering graduate and founder of BOON, Dylan Grey, said “Venturefest South was a great event to be involved with,” adding that they “made loads of useful connections and heard some really interesting ideas. Thanks to the University’s Student Enterprise team and Venturefest for putting the event on and for recognising our team as the ‘Best New Innovator’. I went to Venturefest 2018 when BOON was little more than an idea, and judging from the improvement and development of the event, I would highly recommend getting involved next year if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur.”

BOON is revolutionising gift discovery by tapping into AI and emotional response. The startup selects 50 highly tailored gifts from an online catalogue of millions by truly understanding each customer’s unique recipient. The tech startup emerged last spring when the team first pitched the idea at the Future Worlds Dragons’ Den event. The entrepreneurs have since been accelerated on their journey through early-stage funding from the Web Science Institute’s Z21 Innovation Fund.

Southampton exhibitors at Venturefest South 2019 also included: Intro, an app revolutionising the way we connect, Neighbr, a new way to lend and borrow nearby, Proofer, making social media management simple, Finestra, enables people to make a positive impact in the world through investing, and lastly, Mazzi, a fashion brand supporting wildlife rescue and mental health initiatives.

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