A SOUTHAMPTON student has been handed a £100,000 investment for his pothole spotting invention.

Connell McLaughlin's dashboard sensor system Route Reports detects and reports hazards like potholes and overhanging branches.

As reported Hampshire County Council was forced to pay out more than £1.27m of taxpayers' money in compensation to drivers for vehicles damaged by potholes.

Now the 19 year old Southampton University student has been handed the cash to develop his IT system at a Dragon's Den style live pitching event.

Three other innovative student start-ups were also successful at the day long event.

The student entrepreneurs pitched in front of four angel investors and a packed audience at the University of Southampton Students’ Union in the showcase hosted by the university’s Future Worlds startup incubator on May 12.

First year Aeronautics and Astronautics student Connell was pledged £100,000 by four investors – including a surprise last minute offer by phone – in a dramatic finale.

Aerospace Engineering student Boateng Opoku-Yeboah, Mechanical Engineering student Landon Vago-Hughes and Computer Science graduate Tunde Alao secured £50,000 for their Cluttr app, an all-in-one private social network and household solution that promises to help build harmony in shared homes.

First year Computer Science students Kajetan Champlewski and Dan Trickey were offered £30,000 for their maths revision tool Questioneer, while fourth year medical student Laura Brunning from Bursledon was pledged £20,000 for her first aid training enterprise Hampshire First Aid.

Dragon investors Chris Broad, Apple Director of Sales Contracting EMEIA, Andrew Doe, serial digital entrepreneur and founder of confetti.co.uk, Sonja Lami, angel investor and Insight Investment Fund Manager, and Nick Lawton, Chairman of the Lawton Communications Group, interrogated and negotiated on stage with student entrepreneurs from six student startups that had been selected ahead of dozens of entries to the Future Worlds competition.

The pitching event is an annual showcase of a growing student enterprise culture at the University of Southampton and was supported on Saturday by the Fish on Toast, Entrepreneurs Club and Enactus Southampton societies.

Dr Reuben Wilcock, Future Worlds Director, said: “It’s been great to see an infectious entrepreneurial culture building on campus in recent years which now seen over £450,000 pledged on-stage to student startups at our four annual pitching events. The student entrepreneurs really impressed the investors on Saturday with their passion, professionalism and presentation, and it will be exciting to see what their fledgling businesses can achieve in the coming years. Two startups from the 2017 showcase are now valued at over £1m and will be based in Silicon Valley and London from this summer. Future Worlds will be mentoring the startups as they continue their entrepreneurial journeys alongside their studies and strive to impact society with their innovations.”