13 February 2019

Business School undergraduates completed a 48-hour challenge to find solutions to global challenges. Close to 100 students took part across 13 teams.
Makeyourmark2019 by Eoin Carey

You V Ray won first place with a sunscreen product which is pollutant-free and friendly to marine life. A premium product with an ethical supply chain, You V Ray donates a share of its profits to Oceana, a charity working to reduce ocean pollution.

Judges were blown away by the quality and quantity of research You V Ray carried out, their understanding of climate change, and their excellent pitch. The team made great use of interdisciplinary skills, from science to business models and product design.

This is the third edition of #makeyourmark, an event popular with students across the University of Edinburgh. This year participants came from 12 Schools including Informatics, Edinburgh College of Art, Psychology, and Divinity.

Team DoGood took second place, impressing judges with a consumer product that has an immediate social impact on homelessness. DoGood sell organic dog treats, and donate a percentage of profits to buy meals for homeless people's dogs.

The quality of solutions pitched meant the judges couldn't decide on a clear-cut third winner. Instead they offered joint third place to two teams. Impart built a service to offer professional and transferable skills to youths at risk of homelessness, and Seek Hope developed a 12-week programme to help refugees cope with anxiety and symptoms of PTSD.

#makeyourmark offers students a fast, practical, and fun way to stretch their skills. For students like 2017 winner, Aayush Goyal, the competition has been a game-changer:

I was studying International Business when I joined #makeyourmark, and it was eye-opening. I learnt about social entrepreneurship, and the incredible support and initiatives going on in Scotland. That's how I found out what I wanted to do after graduating.

With the support of Launch.ed—the University of Edinburgh's team of business advisers who source funding, support, and mentoring for newly created student companies—Goyal went on to set up Social Stories Club which sells gift boxes comprising socially conscious products.

Dean of the Business School, Professor Wendy Loretto, said:

The Business School asks students to look at the world with critical eyes, and #makeyourmark is a great example of how we do that. Our first-year undergraduates, for instance, begin their time in Edinburgh on a Global Challenges course. Our MBAs take treks to India and Colombia where students learn from large companies and social enterprises. I'm really pleased students from other schools are joining us in this 48-hour challenge.