A number of students and graduates from the University of Westminster have reached the semi-finals of a national business competition run by a charity that supports student and graduate entrepreneurs. Students Zak Rebihi and Lister Rossel have been shortlisted in the Digital and Technical Category, and Yuxin Jiang and Mujde Esin in the Ideas category. 

The Varsity Pitch Competition, run by the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs (NACUE) in partnership with Tata, invites innovative young business owners to submit their pitches for the chance to win £10,000 to help fund their business idea. The semi-finals will see Zak Rebihi, Tom Meehan and Tom Simkins’s Minibarra, Lister Rossel’s Rjam App, Yuxin Jiang and Rakesh Mohindra's Amberfly and Mujde Esen’s Kizcode compete against five other start-ups in their category, pitching live to a panel of expert judges on Tuesday 18 October at the Google campus in London.

Alumnus Tom Meehan, and final year Business Management (Finance) BA Honours students Tom Simkins and Zak Rebihi's Minibarra is a platform to create, store and analyse data for the hospitality industry. Speaking about his business, the team said said: "It's been great getting to this stage in such a widely renowned competition. We are thrilled to be given the opportunity to pitch alongside some of the most exciting new start-ups within the UK. The Varsity pitch is a great way for us to show what our company can do and give us the well needed funding we need to achieve this.”

Audio Production MA graduate Lister Rossel created an app called RJam App. Speaking about it, Lister said: “RJam is an app that allows users to create collaborative music through video multi-tracks in simple steps. The recorded and merged video multi-track can be shared on social media. RJam also works as a social platform where users are able to meet new musical peers by creating open sessions.”

Another shortlisted business idea is Media Management MA graduate Mujde Esin’s Kizcode which aims to help promote maths and technology to Turkish and Kurdish girls in Turkey and London through fun activities and workshops.

Photography Arts MA graduates Yuxin Jiang and Rakesh Mohindra's Amberfly has also been shortlisted for the idea for a worldwide online repository of a visual arts degree show. Speaking about reaching the semi-finals, they said: “We want to thank the support from the university especially from Elishba Zachariah, who is the entrepreneur mentor.”

If successful, the Westminster students will be invited to a boot camp where they will receive mentoring and support before pitching in the final on 15 November at the RBS Building at Bishopsgate in central London. 

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