UHatch, GCU’s incubator space, supports entrepreneurial students, alumni and staff in developing their business skills and launching their own enterprises.
Isatou Njai and her partner Paul Blackler set up Hippo & Hedgehog with UHatch support to produce Baotic, a breakfast drink made from the African superfruit baobab, while she was studying International Business (Risk Management).
They source baobab through a charity supply chain that benefits community harvesters across Africa and commit a minimum of 10% profit to support development across the continent.
The start-up triumphed against more than 2,000 entries from universities across the UK and Ireland to take the runner-up spot in the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards and won £5,000 and the opportunity to meet Sir Richard Branson after winning a Virgin Media business event.
They impressed the contest’s judges with their pitch during the Virgin Media Voom Tour, adding that prize to Scottish Edge Wildcard funding of up to £10,000 won earlier in the year.