De Montfort University Leicester’s (DMU) Vikesh Mistry is among the finalists for the Rising Star category at this year’s Niche Business Awards.
Vikesh, an enterprise project officer within DMU’s student and graduate entrepreneurship team, DMU Entrepreneurship, will be one of three hopefuls vying for the crown at this year’s final, which takes place on Friday 2 September at Athena Leicester.
“Personally and professionally, being nominated and making it through to the final is a great achievement – regardless of the result. I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.
The Rising Star Award recognises emerging business leaders whose work reflects ongoing and exceptional growth in contribution to the profession, as well as increased levels of leadership and responsibility.
Entrepreneurial and business-savvy from the age of 13, Vikesh hosts hundreds of one-to-one appointments with students throughout the year, helping them grow their business ideas into functioning companies through his mentorship.
Before the final takes place in September, Vikesh will have one last chance to impress the judges in a 10-minute interview. He will be judged alongside his fellow finalists Pete Talbot and Laura Lane.
He said: “The conversation with the judges is the only thing I can influence and I’ll do my best but beyond that, it’s anyone’s to win.
“As part of my role, I deliver lectures for students across the university’s faculties where we discuss the process of starting up a company and then apply them to their specific business in our tailored one-to-ones.
“I always ask our students three questions: where are you now? Where do you want to go? And most importantly, how are you going to get there? It’s the last question where I feel I add the most value to young entrepreneurs.
“I want to make the most of my opportunity at DMU and help even more students, and society as a whole, to learn from my experiences.”
Since 2021, Vikesh has helped in creating the university’s four-week business boot camp programme LaunchPad – where more than 750 students were taught core skills for building their own business – and worked closely with Peter Jones Enterprise Academy students to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs in Leicester.
Vikesh’s work has helped DMU retain its place in the top 10 British universities with the most student and graduate start-ups, with 140 companies launched in the 2020/21 academic year by students or graduates from the university.
He is also heavily involved with the popular Enterprise Placement Year, as well as organising DMU Global trips to Lisbon, Dubai and Silicon Beach in Los Angeles to help students connect with business leaders to see how successful companies scale.
While studying for his degree in Business, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Vikesh was a regular volunteer for DMU Local, volunteering to help refugees integrate into communities in Berlin, and lead his team, Oxyfusion to second place in the 2015 Fox’s Lair challenge - a business pitching competition he would later go on to judge.
Simon Baines, manager of DMU Entrepreneurship, praised Vikesh’s work ethic and extensive knowledge of business start-ups.
Simon said: “Vikesh’s own entrepreneurial and innovative approach to his work is commendable and his outputs have led to DMU’s most successful year ever in terms of student entrepreneurship and participation.
“In a short space of time, Vikesh has completely overhauled the enterprise content delivered to students in lectures across the university, co-organising an educational enterprise trip to Los Angeles, facilitating a Christmas enterprise fair, leading a project to launch a new online sales platform for our student entrepreneurs, and supporting initiatives such as the Enterprise Placement Year, Graduate Champions: Start-up Catapult and Enactus.
“As a team, our output figures have been incredible for this year and could not have been achieved without Vikesh’s hard work.”
Now in its ninth year, the Niche Business Awards celebrate business leaders throughout Leicestershire.
Tickets for September’s final are currently available to purchase.
Posted on Tuesday 2nd August 2022