Redstart wins BIDT Dragons' Den competition with compelling social media pitch

Posted on 30 September 2015

Redstart's quality social media smart adviser win's Dragon's Den competition

Three PhD students with a compelling innovation in social media won the recent Business Innovation for Digital Technology (BIDT) Dragons' Den competition.  The team pitched to a panel of industrial and academic “Dragons”, in which they secured a generous prize donated by IBM.  

At the conclusion of the competition, developer of the BIDT module Dick Whittington, Visiting Professor BIDT, said “business innovation demands imagination, innovation and sheer hard work, and the three teams – Redstart, Pit Team and Flash Delivery - that formed through this module gave a fantastic demonstration of these qualities.  What they delivered to the panel prompted serious analysis and debate, and their achievements are a real credit to the students involved.”

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The Redstart winning team included three of the Department’s PhD students, Mark Douthwaite, Glyn Faulkner, and Tautvydas Mickus.

On reflection of the BIDT module the winners shared their views

Mark "the BIDT module has been a stimulating and rewarding challenge. It's really changed our outlook on business and innovation, and the possibilities that are on offer to students looking to create a startup or spinout".

Tautvydas "not only we have been taught the theory behind business, but also had chance to apply it in practicals and the project. Invited speakers as well as Dick were a great inspiration and offered a lot of advice".

Glyn "the BIDT module has demystified the whole process of forming a start-up, from finding funding to protecting intellectual property. We all feel better equipped, not just to spot ideas with business potential, but also to bring them to market".

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The winning team: Mark Douthwaite, Glyn Faulkner, and Tautvydas Mickus, with Heather Dunlop Jones, IBM and Dick Whittington, Visiting Professor BIDT

Notes to editors:

The teams and their pitches were as follows:


Mark Douthwaite, Glyn Faulkner, Tautvydas Mickus

Quality social media smart adviser to maximise online impact

Pit Team

Fatma Layas, Saheed Popoola, Horacio Rodriguez

Providing sim racers with a real race team experience

Flash Delivery

Adeyosola Gbadebo, Bestoon Hussein

Shopping and delivery to you - personalised low cost and rapid delivery service


Heather Dunlop Jones, Distinguished Engineer, IBM

Steve Legg, University Programmes Manager, IBM

Heather Niven, Head of Science City York

Andrew Ferguson, Business Community and Enterprise

John McDermid, Professor of Software Engineering


Apart from their entrepreneurial activities the winning team's research focus is:

Mark Douthwaite - researching techniques for assurance and certification of advanced intelligent diagnostic systems (with HISE).

Glyn Faulkner - researching efficient search networks of interconnected data.

Tautvydas Mickus - researching applications of AI techniques to engineering problems.