Students undertake 48-hour hackathon to develop innovative solutions to boredom

New postgraduate students from across Loughborough University London’s seven institutes joined forces to look at new entertainment solutions that targeted challenges brought about by the current lockdown. These teams looked at innovations that could support us to stay active, healthy, and educated whilst in our homes.

Fancy a new box to enjoy cinema quality movies on your mobile phone? Do you crave a fitness class sharing app? How about a new way to enjoy boardgames? These were just some of the ideas developed as part of a 48-hour virtual hack hosted as part of the induction activities by Loughborough University London’s Future Space team and the Loughborough Enterprise Network.

Ben Cole, Head of Future Space, said “Our hacks are a quick way to engage our students in the discipline of solving problems sustainably. We believe great new ideas come from the intersection of multidisciplinary, diverse teams. Putting our students into a structure that demands a result by a particular time is an excellent way for them to test themselves and experience the innovation process.”
Over the two days the teams learned how to identify sustainable solutions to real problems. The teams learnt about how to define a solution from a challenge. They developed their teamwork skills and learnt how to pitch their ideas in front of an expert panel of judges.

Judges included the Studio Director of Sports Interactive Miles Jacobson OBE. Miles is a BAFTA judge, an investor and keen home chef who was keen to hear about new entertainment ideas. Alongside Miles was Kate Bosomworth, former CMO of M&C Saatchi and the board member of Sport England who championed its successful 'This Girl Can' campaign. Kate is a serial entrepreneur and member of Loughborough University London’s Institute for Sport Business Advisory Board. Finally, the judges were joined by Vinh Ly, co-founder of Moonhub an AR/VR training company that gamifies the way we learn.

Komal Ghai a MSc Sport Business and Innovation student and member of the winning team, said of the event:

"I loved the immersive experience of the event. We had to work fast to develop our ideas. It was great to meet other students and get to know them through working together in a team. The pitch really focussed us. It was amazing to win, get great feedback on our idea, and particularly connect with those on the panel."

Miles Jacobson said:

“It was great to be part of the event and hear the innovative solutions from all of the teams. The panel was impressed by the winning team’s idea. They hit upon a real problem and, in a short space of time had researched an idea that was certainly worth further thought.”

Hayley Jones, Student Enterprise Adviser at Loughborough University London, said:

"With our Future Space and Loughborough Enterprise Network hacks, we offer our students the chance to test themselves to come up with solutions to real problems. This is the start of further support, from advice and guidance to seed funding and programmes which our team offers to help students to build their own business."

As an additional bonus all students taking part were able to count their involvement against the Future Space Personal Best London award. The award supports and recognises students personal and professional development as they study at Loughborough University London.

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2020 QS World University Rankings and top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2020, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 and 8th in The UK Complete University Guide 2020.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Specialising exclusively in postgraduate-level study, Loughborough University London is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers cutting-edge master’s and PhD degrees, as well as business collaboration, research and enterprise opportunities.

The seven specialist institutes at Loughborough University London include: Design Innovation, Digital Technologies, Diplomacy and International Governance, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, International Management, Media and Creative Industries, and Sport Business. Close industry partnerships with a wealth of leading businesses and creative organisations means teaching and learning is informed by real-life challenges and driven by true industry pressures.