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Over 180 students from Bath, Exeter, Buckingham, Warwick, Surrey and Southampton registered to take part in the inaugural year of the competition, and one team from each university has been selected to win £3,000 and progress to the national final on 12 May.
The competition, a brand-new concept in the automotive retail industry, was created by Keyloop to support future talent, encouraging students to build innovative ideas to help advance automotive retail, whilst also providing first-hand experience of modern industry challenges.
Keyloop has worked closely with the SETsquared Partnership, and additional contacts from leading research-led universities to support student teams with their ideas. The successful finalists from four of SETsquared’s partner universities are:
The University of Bath
Winning team: Tandem
Team members: Lilla Polus, Shraddha Shetty, Alex Bilyi, Alaz Erdinc, André Mugliett
The idea: An app that allows the customer to better connect to the dealership using functions such as browsing available cars and parts, online payment, live chat, video chat, online booking services, as well as the emergency notification service.
The University of Exeter
Winning team: Brian Evans
Team member: Brian Evans
The idea: A system which simplifies a repair/service by allowing live tracking and notification of completion. The web-based idea improves engagement between the workshop teams and the customer.
The University of Surrey
Winning team: OmniPerson
Team member: Murat Yilmaz
The idea: OmniPerson provides a platform for salespeople at a dealership to chat, make video and audio calls with customers in real-time or connect to an expert for technical advice.
The University of Southampton
Winning team: Automotiv
Team members: Si Wu, Ikenna Orabueze, Vaishnav Shinde
The idea: An application which allows a customer to complete a questionnaire and returns 5 recommended cars and stock levels, which helps the customer to make a better decision on a potential car with the options to chat online or book an appointment.
The two additional student teams joining them in the final are:
The University of Buckingham
Winning team: Bucklers
Team members: Thomas Humphreys, Yoon Cho, Jesper Hansson Liedholm
The idea: A driving analysis tool that builds a consumer profile based on how he/she uses the car. This can then identify any issues or risks with the car, predict when they may buy the next car and recommend a model.
The University of Warwick
Winning team: Duopoly
Team members: Nkosinathi Khumalo, Yunus Ansari
The idea: An app to efficiently track and manage the delivery of a vehicle from the seller to the car buyer.
The teams were tasked with developing a technology product idea to help car dealers transition their business amidst today’s tech trends, the impact of Covid-19, and modern consumer demands. The competition began in October 2020 and since then, 18 successful proposals progressed to the ‘Idea development phase’, during which students built out their proposals into product ideas, with the help of a mentor from Keyloop. The successful ideas have incorporated technology to develop and improve areas such as dealer to customer engagement, the purchase journey for sales and servicing, data tools for dealership staff, and car ownership and connectivity.
Over the course of four judging days from 21 April to 29 April, each team had 20 minutes to present their ideas to a panel of three judges. The top-scoring team from each university has been declared the regional winner and won £3,000 per team.
The winning teams will present their ideas once more in the grand final on 12 May, and the national winner will be selected by the judging panel: Tom Kilroy, CEO of Keyloop, Joaquim Croca, VP Commercial at Keyloop, Michelle Wells, Marketing Communications Director at Keyloop, Tim Rose, editor of Automotive Management and Julia Muir, CEO of Gaia Innovation. The national winning team will receive a further £10,000 to celebrate their achievement.
Michelle Wells said: “At Keyloop, we are firmly focused on the future, and that includes the next generation of minds working in automotive technology. We are passionate about fostering upcoming diverse talent and attracting more students to the automotive industry. The University Dealer Tech competition reflects Keyloop’s future-motive approach to business, and our dedication to supporting innovation. By providing hands-on experience and giving students the tools to harness their knowledge and creativity, we hope to raise awareness of the vast career opportunities that exist both within the industry and at Keyloop. My congratulations to the university winners so far on their game-changing ideas, and I look forward to congratulating the national winner in a couple of weeks’ time.”
Keyloop has also awarded additional prizes for outstanding team or individual efforts:
Outstanding Individual – Rachelle Wabissa, University of Bath
Runner Up (overall) – Clueless Pandas, University of Warwick, Bailey Walters, Nathan Downes, Mate Molnar, Aaron Parmar, David Sangojinmi
Third place (overall) – Frictionless Finance Force, University of Warwick, Adam Jones
Find out more about the competition on the Keyloop website
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