Welcome to the

WE Innovate 2024

Grand Final


It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the tenth Grand Final of WE Innovate, Imperial’s flagship programme for women entrepreneurs.

This has been another fiercely competitive year with a cohort of 25 teams, working across a range of ground-breaking topics.

Underpinning WE Innovate this year has been the generous support of our sponsors, and I would like to personally thank Santander Universities and Michelmores LLP for their time and contribution in making this year’s WE Innovate programme happen.

This year’s programme was also made possible through philanthropy, and I would like to thank Alexsis de Raadt St James and the Althea Foundation as well as our other donors for their generosity.

I would also like to thank the members of the Imperial Venture Mentoring Service (IVMS) and other volunteers from across Industry for contributing to the investor and selection judging panels and helping to select our finalists.

If watching tonight’s pitches inspires you to help support the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs from Imperial College London that are working to change the world, tonight is the perfect opportunity to get involved. We have plans to scale WE Innovate and would love you to join us in our journey to make this happen!

I would be happy to discuss partnerships, collaborations or sponsorship opportunities with the Enterprise Lab. Please contact me via email ([email protected]) or find me at the networking reception if you’re interested in helping the future innovators of the Imperial College London.

Now, on with the show!

Ben Mumby-Croft

Sarah Ranchev-Hale
Head of Imperial Enterprise Lab
[email protected]

The Prizes

Each of the Finalists will receive a share of the £30,000 prize fund, this year sponsored by Santander Universities. In addition to the cash prize, the winner of the WE Innovate 2024 Final will also receive legal support from Michelmores LLP to help support their business.
1st Prize
2nd Prize
3rd Prize

4th & 5th Prize
£1,500 each

Additional Prizes

In addition to the cash prizes above, these additional prizes will also be awarded to 3 semi-finalist teams from the WE Innovate 2024 cohort.

Engineers in Business Prize
Awarded to two WE Innovate teams with founders from an engineering background, this £3000 prize fund celebrates engineers in the field of entrepreneurship and is supported by the Engineers in Business Fellowship.
Lauren Dennis Award
A six-month business coaching package for the winning team.

The Finalists

The five teams below are the finalists of this year’s WE Innovate programme and will each leave the WE Innovate Final with a share of the £30,000 prize fund.
Bia is an at-home uterine contraction monitoring patch to facilitate evidence-led, collaborative decision making between pregnant women and healthcare providers.
Hi Fond
Unlocking the ability to preserve the value of fruits throughout the supply chain.
The world’s first smart health assistant for digestive tracking to manage bowel incontinence.
Bio-degradable packaging for temperature-sensitive medicine, ensuring delivery of life saving drugs to underserved communities.
Wearable intervention to proactively prevent musculoskeletal injuries and improve rehabilitation.

The Judges

Professor Mary Ryan
Vice Provost for Research and Enterprise, Imperial College London
Read Bio

Mary Ryan, Vice Provost for Research and Enterprise at Imperial, is a distinguished leader in materials science. Recognised with a CBE and Fellowships in prestigious academies. She has published over 200 papers and graduated over 50 PhD students in the area of electrochemical materials science.  Ryan‘s career exemplifies excellence in interdisciplinary research. Her strategic vision shapes Imperial’s research and impact agenda, supporting its mission to address complex global challenges through convergence science approaches.

Dame Kate Bingham
Managing Partner, SV Health Investments                       
Read Bio
In her 30 years at SV, Kate’s biotech investments have resulted in the launch of eight drugs for the treatment of patients with inflammatory and autoimmune disease and cancer.

Kate co-leads SV’s biotech franchise which has a long history of building high value, successful new companies developing transformational new medicines and bringing drugs from discovery to market. Kate’s investments, many of which are examples of SV’s company creation approach to biotech investing, include a wide range of drug discovery and development companies focused on different clinical areas in companies in the UK, EU and US.

In 2021 Kate was awarded a DBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services as Chair of the UK Vaccine Taskforce, where she led a team of world-class experts with the shared purposed of finding and manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines.

Outside of SV, Kate serves on the Board of the Francis Crick Institute and ARIA. At weekends Kate spends time in Wales where she rides horses and mountain bikes, grows vegetables and competes in bog snorkelling competitions.



Alexsis de Raadt St James
Founder and Managing Partner, Merian Ventures
Read Bio
Alexsis de Raadt St James is an investment professional and entrepreneur with diverse expertise in corporate finance, venture investing and technology. She has overseen multiple acquisitions, divestments and IPO’s globally. For the past twenty years she has focused on the emerging role of technology in consumer markets. She has held a leadership position in a global Fortune 500 company and startups she founded or funded. She is a serial entrepreneur who has years of experience as a founder and investor, serving on boards, funding university research with a special focus on female-led deep tech companies emerging from universities. Alexsis is currently Founder and Managing Partner of Merian Ventures, a venture firm focused on investing in women-founded and co-founded companies in the US and UK. She is a frequent speaker, author and thought leader on digital business, innovation, philanthropy, venture, and the raising role of women in technology. Her articles have appeared in The Financial Times, The Telegraph and The Guardian.

 In addition to her professional roles, she is the founder of The Althea Foundation which has funded 28 initiatives in the mental health, science and education sector and is the recipient of a Commendation from Scotland Yard for software design and social impact. Alexsis founded and provided the initial funding for WE Innovate tech accelerator at Imperial College, 2014-present. Was a US-UK Fulbright Commissioner, board member Oxford Foundry 2018-2022, and currently serves on the advisory board of The Oxford Internet Institute and Oxford AI Society.

The Host

Reya El-Salahi

Presenter, Reporter, and Broadcast Journalist

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Reya El-Salahi is an award-winning presenter, reporter and broadcast journalist. She has presented TV and radio programmes and made documentaries for the BBC, Times Radio, CGTN Europe, and This American Life among others.

The Keynote

Anneliese Dodds

Labour and Co-operative Candidate for Oxford East for the 2024 General Election

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Anneliese is the Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equaliities and Labour and Co-operative Candidate for Oxford East for the 2024 General Election.

Anneliese was first elected as the Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Oxford East in 2017. She currently serves as Party Chair and Chair of the National Policy Review. Prior to that, she served as the first woman Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Anneliese represented Oxford from 2014 to 2017 as our MEP. In that role, Anneliese served on the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, focusing especially on clamping down on tax avoidance by big companies. She was also responsible for tightening rules on financial services, to help prevent any repeat of the global financial crisis. Before becoming an MEP, Anneliese worked for many years as an academic. She also chaired a local debt and welfare advice centre.

Anneliese was first elected in June 2017, and was made Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury in July 2017. While in this role Anneliese developed Labour’s ‘Fair Tax Programme’, the Party’s tax avoidance proposals put forward at the 2019 general election.

The Sponsors

Santander Universities


Santander Universities is the leading global supporter of higher education. We believe that universities are the cornerstone of modern civilisation, nurturing and producing the innovators, creatives and leaders of tomorrow.Through the Universities programme we’re building on Santander UK’s purpose to help people and businesses prosper by providing funding and resources to help students and graduates start, run or scale a business.



Michelmores is delighted to support the WE Innovate award winner through our MiVentures programme of legal support for ambitious early stage businesses – to help make growth a reality.  Michelmores is a proud signatory to the Investing in Women Code and commits to adopting internal practices to improve female entrepreneurs’ access to finance, tools, resources they need to grow their business.