Alumni who are active in initiating and contributing to innovative or creative new ideas, solutions or business opportunities, that have the potential for growth.

Global Finalists

AMERICAS: Davide Valeriani (USA)

University of Essex

Davide’s research is allowing patients with severe motor disabilities to better engage with the world around them. He is cofounder of Eyewink Ltd, which develops wearable devices that allow people to control modern technology such as smartphones using eye movements. His research has unlocked over £2 million in funding from the Ministry of Defence and Davide has also secured a postdoctoral position at Harvard Medical School. He works as a senior scientist at the biotechnology company, Neurable.

EAST ASIA: Shaun Adam (Malaysia)

The University of Edinburgh

Shaun leads the World Economic Forum’s regional and global cooperation between governments and businesses in Asia-Pacific. He previously worked with the United Nations on trade policy and socio-economic development in Southeast Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. Passionate about social innovation, Shaun’s ideas to address inequalities have been exhibited at the Nobel Peace Centre and he is also the author of the bestselling book – Acts of Resistance, Dol Said & The Naning War.

EUROPE: Mario Binder (Germany)

Aston University

In 2014, Mario co-founded Bunte Burger, the first vegan organic burger outlet in Cologne. Starting with a food truck and subsequently developing his idea into a fully-fledged food business, Mario now provides a line of products to stores across Germany including REWE, Edeka, Globus and numerous organic markets. Bunte Burger has gone on to win numerous culinary prizes, including at the Men’s Health Good Food awards and by taking 1st place in Germany’s Metro Awards for Sustainable Gastronomy.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA: Dina Aboughazala (Egypt)

City, University of London; Chevening's scholar

In 2020, Dina launched Egab, a media start-up which empowers journalists and challenges stereotypes about the region. Egab now has over 70 journalists in more than 18 countries in the Middle East and Africa - helping them publish in media across the US, Europe and the Gulf. Dina’s team has also trained more than 300 journalists in evidence-based reporting and her work has been recognised with an award from City, University of London, as well as a development grant of $100K from Google.

SOUTH ASIA: Yeshwanth Raj Parasmal (India)

University of Southampton

Yeshwanth launched 21K School (India’s first online school) in June 2020. It now has over 4500 students in more than 35 countries and provides them with an affordable, well-rounded education. Yeshwanth has since launched further start-ups across India, transforming its educational sector, helping disadvantaged students to access opportunities and supporting communities on important social issues such as the development of sustainable economies and addressing extremism.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: Chima Amadi (Nigeria)

Newcastle University; Commonwealth scholar

Chima founded Clemac Digital Health, helping residents of suburban communities in Nigeria to access essential medicines. He has also launched Hspac, a digital platform where patients requiring emergency healthcare are matched with available beds - a situation inevitably worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Chima is a Mandela Washington Fellow and serves as a Global Lead of the International Pharmaceutical Federation, helping to address the medical access needs of people around the world.

WIDER EUROPE: Renat Bekturov (Kazakhstan)

University of Leicester

In 2021, Renat was appointed as CEO of the Astana International Exchange (AIX) in Kazakhstan. Previously involved in AIX’s creation and also that of the Astana International Financial Centre, he has helped Kazakh companies to raise billions of debt and equity capital, firmly establishing the country as an international business destination. Most importantly for Renat, AIX has allowed thousands of Kazakh citizens to successfully invest and plan for their financial futures.