A new student marketplace app based in Manchester has bagged a £35,000 prize bundle after being crowned the winner of Accelerate Places’ live pitch competition.

UniDosh founders and recent graduates Joseph Black and Oliver Jacobs were awarded the prize after beating off four other contenders at the event.

Launched in Manchester during Freshers’ Week this year, the app was designed to tackle the student financial crisis by allowing students to buy and sell services such as cleaning, music lessons, language tutoring, CV writing or car lifts for other local students.

The prize bundle consists of £5,000 in cash and six months of free desk space at Accelerate Places Manchester.

The UniDosh team will receive expert professional consultations on business readiness as well as web hosting, event marketing, PR, brand and business coaching, promotional video content and a professional photoshoot as well as expert mentoring to scale up their business.

"UniDosh was the clear winner for the judges as it’s a unique proposition and it stands out as the first app of its type that could dominate the student sector," said Accelerate Places community manager Lisa Murgatroyd.

"There’s no other student marketplace app like it and it can really enhance the student experience and avoid or relieve financial problems. It answers a real life issue by offering a safe and secure way for students to find or offer services. It is already commercialised and is certainly scalable, it keeps money within the student community, and there’s no real incumbent that could contend."

Joseph Black added: "It's a brilliant prize that will really help us with the next stage of the business and to have an award under our belts after just six months is a real landmark for us. We have around 3000 users signed up already and have taken nearly 200 bookings – this is just the beginning for us as we have some exciting growth plans to take the concept around the country to all universities.

"We spotted a gap in the market for a way for students to trade and share skills and services to earn money. Part time jobs are not always possible or convenient around studies, parents can’t always provide financial support and banks aren’t offering student loans so UniDosh gives students an alternative way of earning and saving money."

The Accelerate Places pitch night competition took place on 31st October hosted by Dreamr founder Mylo Kaye, with judging led by Mark Onyett from Blenheim Chalcot. 

Prizes were supplied by Manchester businesses such as UKFast, Dreamr, Toast PR, Fieldfisher, Campus Capital, Juke Media and Conspicuous Marketing, among others.

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