Student’s Aerospace Start-up Flies High

Student’s Aerospace Start-up Flies High


Thursday 27th Jun 2019


15 April 2019

An aerospace business set up by a Cardiff University student has claimed top prize at Cardiff Student Start-up Awards.

The event, organised by Cardiff University Enterprise and Start-up, showcased innovations including a platform to improve mental health in the workplace, aerospace systems, and a rental property review platform.  

Hosted by Tramshed Tech, the Awards saw students and alumni with entrepreneurial and social flare competing for a prize pot of £20,000 in cash and support.

The £2,500 winning prize from Santander Universities went to SmallSpark, an aerospace start-up founded by MSc Astrophysics student, Joseph Ward.

Joseph said, “I am incredibly proud of the entire Smallspark Development team for the work they've done; there have been long all-nighters to get us to where we are now but its finally beginning to pay off and I cannot wait for our team to grow a little larger soon. I want to make Smallspark the lead small launch vehicle provider in all of Europe within the decade and a company Wales can be proud of.”

SmallSpark will also receive a package of legal support from Cardiff law firm, Darwin Gray.

Managing Partner of Darwin Gray, Stephen Thompson said: “It has been a privilege to be involved with these awards and to see so many inspiring students and graduates with incredible ideas. Congratulations to the winner, Joseph. Darwin Gray is delighted to be providing legal support to SmallSpark as part of the prize. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for them, no doubt it will be exciting.”

The £1,750 runner-up award went to Adesuwa Aghahowa for her company Asake Beauty, an online marketplace that connects customers with beauty services that best suit their hair type.

As part of the celebrations, Cardiff University alumni James Taylor (Cardiff University, BSc & PGCE, 2005) shared his experience of growing the successful business, SuperStars.

James said, ‘It has been a pleasure to be a part of the awards and it is fantastic to see the great support that Cardiff University are offering to our next generation of Entrepreneurs!’.

Also announced was the Engineers in Business Fellowship fund of £2,500 awarded to Mohamed Binesmael, a Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering) student. Mohamed’s start-up business, Route Konnect uses innovative technologies to detect traffic movements in real time.

Mohamed said: ‘I’m very honoured to have been awarded the Engineers prize during the ceremony.  It provides a big break for our start-up to progress with our next steps.  The award bridges the gap for our route to even bigger opportunities and partnerships.’

The Cardiff University Student Start-up Awards 2019 were generously supported by Santander Universities, TramshedTech, Darwin Gray, WorkBench, and Engineers in Business Fellowship.