Thirst for Success

In the words of one 2016–17 scholarship recipient, “scholarships are more than just another line on a bank statement”. They offer access to opportunity, partial relief from financial strain, and are a vote of confidence enabling students like Phil to achieve success…

It was so important to have been awarded a bursary from the University, which was only possible thanks to supporters like you. For this, I am truly grateful. With the help of the bursary I was able to avoid the need for a part-time job, meaning I had time to study, work on thirsti and still enjoy university life.”

Phil Daneshyar almost didn’t attend university at all, but coming to York led to him to an idea that could make thousands of people’s lives better. He just needed the funding to make it possible.

“In my first year at the University I had an idea which I thought would help people tackle the problem of dehydration. After funding the initial stage of the idea I managed to put together a prototype.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me at University. There are so many opportunities here, from funding to mentorship. If you have an idea, you can pursue it.”

With the help of his York Futures Scholarship and investment from Santander through the York Business Challenge, Phil was able to develop thirsti, a product that predicts when someone might become dehydrated before reminding them to drink. Using patented pressure-sensing technology, the thirsti puck goes inside your water bottle, connects to the thirsti app, and tracks how much you drink throughout the day.

Phil has now sold over 2000 units to a UK distributor, has been granted a US patent, and is in talks with outlets such as JML, QVC, Boots and John Lewis to stock his product – all whilst working to achieve a first class degree.

Having now graduated, Phil has his sights set on business and, ultimately, philanthropy: “in the future, I plan to work full-time on my start-up and, hopefully, I too can give back to the University as you have done.”