PepsiCo secured for university hackathon

An upcoming university innovation hackathon, led by the University of Kent, will feature an innovation challenge from global food and beverage business PepsiCo, home to brands including Walkers, Pepsi, Quaker and Tropicana.

The Innovation Weekender supported by the EIRA project (Enabling Innovation: Research to Application), will bring together 70 students from the University of Kent and partner universities UEA, Essex, Suffolk and Writtle University College to collaborate in mixed teams, in response to current industry challenges.

The three-day event taking place on 6 – 8 March in Tunbridge Wells, will engage students to creatively think about issues that businesses are facing in the world today and develop employability skills. The opportunity to secure a place for the Innovation Weekender was open to all students, with a limitation of 16 places per university available.

Carole Barron, Director of Innovation & Enterprise, University of Kent, said: ‘The University is committed to working with industry and we are delighted to have PepsiCo on board for this year’s Innovation Weekender. This event offers students so many benefits both personally and academically, and this experience working with such a high profile, reputable company will make it even more memorable.’

Dannii Portsmouth, VP HR at PepsiCo UK & Ireland, said: ‘It is great to support The Innovation Weekender and present students with a typical challenge experienced by PepsiCo in the working world. We look forward to seeing what innovative ideas the next generation of future talent come up with.’

Dr Kirstie Cochrane, Director of EIRA, said: ‘The EIRA project is excited to provide this opportunity to the student community from across our network. The Innovation Weekender has been designed to develop entrepreneurial skills and drive productivity in the region, enabling students to progress their start-up ideas.’

The Innovation Weekender has been supported through EIRA’s Enterprise Accelerator scheme. Read more about the different funds and opportunities we have for businesses and students to work together here.