A creative Middlesex graduate has picked up the top prize at the Enfield Innovation Competition with a unique product he designed for his final year University project.
Iliyan Kukushliev from Winchmore Hill was presented his award and business grant of £10,000 at a ceremony in Enfield on Tuesday night (29th May) by Councillor Del Goddard, Cabinet Member for Business and Regeneration. He was selected from more than 100 entrants made up of local people, students and businesses.
Iliyan impressed the judging panel with his 3-in1 photography accessory called ‘Steady’. The product combines a tripod, monopod and steadicam, and is designed to reduce handshake vibrations and result in better quality photographs and videos. The talented inventor noticed there was a gap in the market and designed and created the product for his final year project in Product Design at Middlesex University.
He then went on to develop this further and submit it for the competition where he presented his business idea to a six-person strong judging panel made up of business experts, academics and Councillor Goddard.
The competition is in its third year and looks for products, services, businesses or enterprises that have the potential to become commercially successful, recognising that new ventures and ideas are an important way of creating opportunities for business growth or social enterprise in the borough.
Using his business grant, Iliyan hopes to develop ‘Steady’ into an affordable product aimed at amateur photographers who do not want to be burdened with numerous pieces of equipment.
The competition also saw two other £10,000 business grants awarded to local businesses and residents, with an additional £10,000 award this year for a ‘highly commended’ business idea who also impressed the judges.
Middlesex graduate Iliyan Kukushliev said: “As an amateur photographer, I know how cumbersome multiple pieces of equipment can be, so I wanted to help reduce this. It’s amazing to have won the competition and is great to know that others also appreciate and believe in my product. I can’t wait to move it forward and develop the product further and get to the manufacturing stage using the business grant.”
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Business and Regeneration, Cllr Del Goddard, said: "Enfield's growth will depend on securing innovation. This competition brings out the best of this in Enfield and I'm delighted that we saw such a broad range of innovative and exciting inventions.”
"Britain has a proud tradition of innovation and invention, and we want to do everything we can to promote and encourage creative people to share their ideas and inventions with the widest possible audience. I'm delighted Enfield Council is able to support these awards and I'd like to congratulate everyone who took part for their contribution to this fantastic event," added Cllr Goddard.
Iliyan is currently completing an internship at redLoop, Middlesex University’s innovation centre.
Photo: Iliyan Kukushliev with Cllr Del Goddard. Photo courtesy of Daniel Davies.