More than 800 university start-ups from six countries were candidates to participate in this international Banco Santander award, from which only the top 36 have been selected.

KronoSafe, Deploy and Agriicola are the winners of the Launch category and the start-ups Háblalo, MEDU and Darwin are the winners of the Accelerate category. They are linked to the medical, pharmaceutical, agricultural and civil engineering sectors.

They will receive prizes worth a total of EUR 60,000, training in entrepreneurship and some will also join Santander X 100, the global entrepreneurship community comprising the most outstanding Santander X start-ups and scale-ups with the greatest potential.

Madrid, 10th February 2022.
Banco Santander has announced the six winning projects in the Santander X Global Award, an international university entrepreneurship competition developed by Santander Universities and with the support of the Oxentia Foundation, with the aim of promoting innovation in universities.

More than 800 university start-ups participating in the local Santander X awards in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Spain, Mexico and the United Kingdom were candidates to take part in this international award. Only the 36 most innovative were selected to compete for this accolade, representing their countries and universities. 

The award, which amounts to €60,000 in cash, is divided into two categories: Launch, for entrepreneurial projects in the preparation phase of their go-to-market strategy, 20,000 euros (10,000 for the first prize and 5,000 for the second and third prizes). And the other category; Accelerate, for high-impact technology start-ups in their acceleration and sustainable growth phases, 40,000 euros: 20,000 euros for first place and 10,000 euros for second and third place.

In the Launch Category, the first prize goes to Spanish project KronoSafe, from Miguel Hernández University (Elche, Valencia, Spain), an initiative that seeks to increase the safety and efficacy of Temporary Stimulation, avoiding unnecessary ICU admissions. The second prize goes to the United Kingdom's Deploy, from Imperial College London, a project featuring a water tank designed to increase access to water in hard-to-reach places. And the third prize goes to Mexican project Agriicola, from Autónoma de Guadalajara University, for their system that employs management, satellite monitoring and artificial intelligence to reduce disease and the environmental footprint caused by agriculture.

According to Paul Mendieta, CEO of the British project Deploy: "As we progress at universities we realise the challenges and issues that the world must deal with. This is why programmes such as Santander X Global Challenge are crucial, because they are not only providing support but also highlighting how students see these challenges and the way in which they are going to address them".

In addition, the three winners selected will receive a scholarship to attend a training programme tailored to the startup phase, in order to get their businesses ready for market entry.

Launch category
Launch category

In the Accelerate category, the first prize goes to the project hailing from Argentina, Háblalo, from IAE Business School, a free multi-tool that helps facilitate communication for more than 200,000 hearing impaired users in 65 countries. The second prize goes to Medu, from La Salle México University, a project which proposes a solution for the protection of healthcare personnel based on economical and sustainable uniforms.  Finally, the third prize goes to Darwin Bioprospecting Excellence, a company affiliated with Valencia University, focused on the sampling and analysis of microbiota in any type of habitat, using advanced culture techniques and massive sequencing. 

Accelerate category
Accelerate category

In this category, in addition to the three awards, an honourable mention was given to the UK project: The Washing Machine, from the University of Bath, for the high quality of their solution – the design, manufacture and distribution of low-cost hand-cranked washing machines that save time, water and effort for people with limited resources.

Mateo Salvatto, the Argentine CEO of Háblalo, says that this award "means the world to us. We are very grateful to Santander and our entire team. For the last five years we have been working to change the world of a large part of the population that has somehow been forgotten. This award is vital for us to scale our business model and continue to enhance our solution to improve people's lives".

The 4 Accelerate startups will become part of Santander X 100 the financial institution's global entrepreneurship community, comprising the most outstanding start-ups and scale-ups with the greatest potential from the various Santander X challenges and awards. They will be able to access the resources that they need to grow: advising and training, capital, customers, talent and networking.

Blanca Sagastume, deputy global director of Santander Universities, highlights that "we have created two categories for this award because we have discerned two needs regarding university entrepreneurship: on the one hand, the need to promote and normalise this option as a future alternative employment pathway and, on the other, to give support and visibility to the innovation that emerges from and develops in the universities themselves. Supporting this is key to building a more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous future for all.

Steve Cleverley, CEO of Oxentia Foundation, observed that “Oxentia has been delighted to partner with Santander X for the Global Awards. Across the world, university-associated entrepreneurs are key to creating solutions to the challenges our societies face. By supporting these entrepreneurs, we are able to drive towards a more sustainable, equal and prosperous future. Helping to create such a future is one of the main objectives of the Oxentia Foundation. We have been greatly encouraged by the strength of all the participants in these Global Awards. The work done to date by all award winners in each category thoroughly deserve recognition. With support from Santander and the Oxentia Foundation, I am confident that these winners will grow quickly as businesses and have a significant impact in many communities around the world”.

A specialised international jury, made up of investors, entrepreneurship and innovation experts and Banco Santander executives, has evaluated the finalist projects and has chosen the 6 winners from the medical, pharmaceutical, agricultural and civil engineering sectors.

The Santander X Global Award is a further example of Banco Santander's commitment to university entrepreneurship, focused around the global initiative Santander X. Its aim is to support and accompany entrepreneurial projects throughout each of the phases of their journey.  

Banco Santander and its support for higher education

Banco Santander, the leader in responsible banking, is firmly committed to progress and inclusive sustainable growth. It has a long-standing commitment to higher education through Santander Universities, which has been operating in this area for 25 years, setting it apart from the world's other financial institutions. Banco Santander has invested more than EUR 2 billion and awarded over 630,000 scholarships and grants since it was established.  

Oxentia Foundation 

The Oxentia Foundation was created to support Oxentia’s goal to address global inequalities through innovation and entrepreneurship activities. Globally, Oxentia has designed, developed, and run awards, competitions and programmes supporting early-stage innovators and entrepreneurs to promote commercialisation of science and technology based-innovation projects impacting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Oxentia developed out of the University of Oxford’s technology transfer company, Oxford University Innovation, with the aim to deliver specialist innovation management services to clients in the public and private sector all over the world. Its approach is grounded in a strong Oxford heritage based on over 30 years’ experience in supporting academic innovation and entrepreneurship in Oxford, and globally in over 70 countries.