Congratulations to Iacopo Di Rico and Zoe Jeffery, the latest recipients of a £20,000 Alumni Innovation Award. These awards were established to provide support to entrepreneurial students and researchers at the University of Bath in developing their business ideas and bringing them to market.

Already the founder of Blossom and Wren, a small business producing inclusive fitness wear for women and girls, Zoe is currently completing a PhD in Health, focusing on adolescent girls’ disengagement in school physical education. Her research in this area has led to the development of VibeStride, an augmented reality video gaming app aimed at teenage girls. VibeStride aims to transform physical education in school by making it a fun and engaging experience for all pupils.

Zoe explains the difference the award will make:

Winning the Alumni Innovation Award has been the best accolade and is a testament to the importance of the work I have been doing during my PhD. Being able to develop some of the academic findings into a commercial enterprise is beyond amazing. It will enable me to further develop my entrepreneurial and creative skills, whilst working with talented people who can help me implement the VibeStride app. Thank you so much to the panel and to the alumni donor for this award.

Iacopo, a final year student studying International Management and Modern Languages (Spanish), has developed Estudiamos, an online learning platform targeted at GCSE and A-level language students. Estudiamos revolutionises language learning by hosting crucial resources such as topic sheets, news articles, worksheets, lesson plans, and more, all in one platform; saving teachers' time and helping students achieve the grades they deserve.

Pascal Loizeau, Enterprise Project Coordinator is delighted with their success:

We at Bath Enterprise feel incredibly lucky to have been part of Zoe’s journey; it’s rare to find people who so effectively combine being a mother and a PhD student with the innovative spirit of an entrepreneur. Vibestride demonstrates her commitment to empowering young girls and reflects her strength and determination. Winning the University of Bath Alumni Innovation Award is well-deserved recognition of Zoe’s entrepreneurialism and her success inspires us all to believe in the power of perseverance and vision.

Likewise, Iacopo has truly amazed us with his exceptional professionalism and entrepreneurial flair. His approach not only reflects a mature business mind but also inspiring creativity and drive, marking him as a standout talent in our entrepreneurial landscape. His success in winning the Alumni Innovation Award is an inspiration for other aspiring young entrepreneurs.

The University of Bath’s Student Entrepreneurship Programme is open to all current students and researchers at the University. If you have a business idea or would like to find out more about how the Student Enterprise team can support you, please join our Entrepreneurship Programme Team.