A University of Stirling Masters student has won the coveted Sports Innovation Challenge – a competitive sports entrepreneurship competition run by Sporting Chance Initiative.
Mohsin Laginaf has won backing to the tune of £4000 for his pioneering sports nutrition product, B4Sport.
The Investment Analysis student will also receive in-kind support from a number of industry partners and a space in the business incubator, The Sport Hive, based at the University of Stirling Innovation Park.
A keen rugby player, inspiration for the product came when Mohsin noticed players were drinking caffeinated energy drinks before taking part in sport.
He knew these drinks were not created for sports performance and after meeting the Sporting Chance team at a University Enterprise Day, began to formulate the idea for a new sports drink.
Mohsin, originally from Bangor in Northern Ireland, said: “I realised there was an opportunity to create a new pre-sports drink that was optimised for sport. I wanted to create something that was more functional, better tasting, competitively priced and more natural than the energy drinks other student rugby players were drinking.
“Winning this competition is the first success for B4Sport – it’s fantastic to gain validation for my product from the Sporting Chance team and the competition judges. The recognition also adds credibility to the product, which I can now build on.”
Mohsin is one of five competition winners from Scottish universities whose ideas have the potential to enhance the world of sport.
He continued: “The one-year incubation and mentorship are incredibly valuable as I'll have access to resources and advice that I wouldn’t otherwise. This is unchartered territory for me but the funding will allow me to sample B4Sport and develop a physical prototype. I also hope to work with the University’s sport scientists to test the performance benefits of the product.”
Ryan Carenduff, Programme Manager at Sporting Chance Initiative said: “The Sports Innovation Challenge is often the first step for students on their entrepreneurial journey. It provides an introduction to the world of sports entrepreneurship and all the tools and skills required to get going.
“What really stood out about Mohsin was that he had done so much work before speaking and engaging with us. He delivered a great pitch on the day and is now lucky enough to call himself a Challenge Champion.”
The entrepreneur will finish his MSc in Investment Analysis over the summer, before graduating in November and sitting his Chartered Financial Analyst exam in December.
Mohsin said: “My Masters degree has given me experience interpreting financial statements and understanding corporate finance which will help me as I move forward and my business begins trading.
“Studying at postgraduate level has also given me confidence that I am capable of learning new skills and concepts. My time at Stirling has given me the strong belief that although starting a business is challenging, I have the capability to learn the skills I need to succeed.”
Dr John Rogers, Director of Research and Innovation Services at the University of Stirling added: “We are delighted to be able to support student and graduate entrepreneurs across Scotland through the Sporting Chance Initiative. This reflects both our role as Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence and our strategic commitment to student enterprise.
“The programme continues to grow in strength and the Sports Innovation Challenge is a key element of this success. It is great to see a new student business emerging from the University through the Challenge.”
Find out more about the Sports Innovation Challenge.