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Mayor's Entrepreneur Competition 2021 Semi-Finalists - BA Candidates

Ashwini working with textiles at University
  • Written byN Brathwaite and M Fields
  • Published date 01 June 2021
Ashwini working with textiles at University
Ashwini working with textiles at University

Twelve London College of Fashion students have been shortlisted as semi-finalists for the Mayor’s Entrepreneur 2021. The prize supports the creation of sustainable businesses, while championing ideas that will prime London for a greener future. It also serves to promote entrepreneurship as a career path for students and graduates and is delivered by the Greater London Authority with funding from the Citi Foundation.

Along with guidance from expert mentors within City Hall, the finalists will pitch their ideas to a celebrity panel in front of a live audience and the 5 winners will each receive £20,000 towards their businesses. Students have received support from our LCF Graduate Futures team, who support student’s career, freelancer and business start-up ambitions.  We spoke to both BA and MA students and graduates of LCF that were shortlisted, here's what the BA students had to say about their projects.

Lauren Finn from BA Fashion Contour

Dear Planet is a zero-waste lingerie brand, with each product being compostable at the end of its life cycle. Often lingerie is overlooked in our fight against the climate crisis because the garments are so small. However, lingerie has a huge environmental impact, due to it often needing plastic in its construction. Further to this, Dear Planet also operates with full transparency and prides itself on its ethics.

Model in lingerie holding sign that reads "Put me in your compost bin

Julie van Bemmel from BA Creative Direction for Fashion

Komodoh is a playful and exploratory mood tracking app. I founded Komodoh because Gen-Z is facing a lack of engaging digital wellbeing tools. Within Komodoh, users can craft their feelings by experimenting with 3D visuals. Komodoh also offers personalised insights and daily affirmations.

Calendar with decorative 3D visuals on each day.

Lara Bazzoui from BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism

Bibi Bazz is an upcycling brand that focuses on changing the way that we view the purpose of damaged and deadstock footwear - regenerating it into bespoke bags that fulfil your streetwear fantasies. Born during lockdown 1, I contemplated what I could do with my unwearable, broken trainers that I held sentimental attachment to. That's when I thought, why not try upcycling them into a bag? The result blew my mind, and the rest was history.

Volt and orange football boots reworked as a handbag

Tessa Lin Wang from BA Creative Direction for Fashion

Brainchild is an on-demand service for founders to get matched with the right creative talent. We're hyper focused on redesigning the creative industry's job creation pipeline – to make it more inclusive, circular and ready for the future of work.

Brainchild was initially built as my final year project at LCF. As I'm originally from Singapore, I later received a Start-up Visa Sponsorship from UAL to stay on and launch Brainchild in London. If not for that, I wouldn't have been able to apply for this Mayor's Entrepreneur award.

You can find out more on the Brainchild website.

Screen grabs of in-app salary prompts

Kewal Gala from BA Fashion Pattern Cutting

Kewal has launched CIRQ along with Aditi Sahoo, BA Fashion Design Womenswear at CSM.

CIRQ uses people’s worn out and discarded clothing and textiles and uses technology and manual techniques to convert them into fully fashioned knitwear pieces between the price range of 50-300 pounds - making ‘recycling’ cool and closing the loop of the fashion industry, thus advocating for a circular economy.

Six illustrations of plain t shirts, yarn and a knitting machine.

Graduate Futures

Graduate Futures has been working to support the Mayor’s Entrepreneur Challenge for the last 5 years. Last year, 2 LCF students made it to the Final and received mentoring during the year from the Mayor’s Office, to help hone their Business Models.

This year, Graduate Futures led on a UAL wide Hackathon which saw students work in groups from across all Colleges, to come up with business solutions around one of 4 themes for this year’s Challenge; Environment, Creative Industries, Technology and Health. The Hackathon featured speakers from the Mayor’s office and a previous Mayor’s Award winner.

Graduate Futures Cartoon Graphic

Since promoting the Challenge at the beginning of the year, Graduate Futures have supported students via webinars and learning resources, helping students with their understanding of the key area's students must illustrate in their submission; business modelling, business strategy, finance, sales and marketing and value and viability. Additionally, they have also supported the semi-finalists with their business pitches, to make sure their narrative is clear and strategically mapped and they have evidence that can support their assumptions.

This year, the majority of the students are developing sustainable solutions and circular business models in new and creative ways. Two of the Semi Finalists (Pamela Nicole Mejia and Beatrice Soncina) are also Finalists in the Graduate Futures Enterprise Challenge Final, taking place on Wednesday 16 June.

Read more

In part two, we speak to our MA semi-finalists.

Find out more about the Mayor’s Entrepreneur Competition.

Meet LCF’s Graduate Futures