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Cash to fund social enterprises

Young innovators share £74k prize money

Young InnovatorsThe winners of this year’s Young Innovators Challenge have each been awarded £2,000 to develop their ideas for a variety of social enterprises.

Funded by Scottish Government and part of the Scotland Can Do approach, the competition is aimed at encouraging young people in Scotland to get into innovation and entrepreneurship.

The 38 winners (click on picture to enlarge) were drawn from 267 team entries, each tasked with developing concepts to help tackle social, health, environmental and infrastructure challenges currently facing Scotland. Highlights from this years’ competition include:

·      A team from the University of Strathclyde whose GPS app allows mobility impaired users to navigate more efficiently by recording disabled access routes which can be shared online for other people to use.

·      A student from Queen Margaret University whose idea is to set up Scotland’s first ‘BorrowShop’ to encourage us to become more economical with our resources.

·      A team from the University of Glasgow whose idea is to design a lifestyle app to aid sufferers of dementia during their daily routine.

·      A student from the University of Edinburgh who has developed software to improve the efficiency of wind turbines by acting on their control system.

Each winner will use their award funding to develop their ideas over the summer. During this time they will also have access to expert advice and support through workshops, and will take part in an exclusive Young Innovators Challenge winners residential bootcamp in Dundee.

These workshops and weekends have been designed to help them progress their idea into a position where they can either pitch for additional funding, or, start trading as a business.

Winners will also be given the opportunity to return in August to pitch their ideas to judges for additional funding of up to £5,000.

Fiona Godsman, chief executive for competition organisers, Scottish Institute for Enterprise, said: “Scotland is brimming with young entrepreneurial talent and the Young Innovators Challenge has proven to be an excellent platform to channel that talent in a way that helps benefit communities, towns, cities, industries and the environment.

“We had a record number of participants this year, and each idea deserved to be recognised. We would encourage those who haven’t been successful at this stage to seek out help and persevere to move their ideas forward.”

Since launching in 2013, the annual Young Innovators Challenge has been seen as a springboard for social start-ups in Scotland to establish themselves on the Scottish business scene. Past winners include:

·      Chris McCann, founder of Snap40 – a medical wrist band which monitors hospital patients’ vital signs. Since winning Young Innovators Challenge, Christopher has gone on to secure various levels of funding and his invention will be trialled in an NHS hospital later this year.

·      Victoria Hamilton, founder of VH Innovation whose ‘recoil kneepads’ have received global attention as she looks to go to market with them this year.

Judges at this year’s competition included Josh Littlejohn, organiser of the Scottish Business Awards and creator of the Social Bite, Susan Aktemel, Director of Homes for Good and Graham Bell, chief executive of the Kibble Foundation.

Although each individual winner was awarded £2,000, the awards were capped at £6,000 per team (3 persons). The team of four was therefore awarded £6,000

There were 446 participants in teams of various sizes.

Full winners list

Abdallah Moh D, Olga Szewczyk, Romulo Freitas

University of Strathclyde

Ajaya Kumar Malapati

University of St Andrews

Bethany Ripley

University of Strathclyde

Claire Wright

University of Dundee

Daniel Donaldson

Edinburgh Napier University

Danielle Amma Simpson

University of the West of Scotland (UWS)

David Boyter

Queen Margaret University

Henry Tracey, Tanita Sira, Gregor Skeldon

University of Edinburgh

Ian Denev

University of Glasgow

Jeremie Warner, Stephen Spiers

University of Strathclyde

Jonathan Thomson

Glasgow School of Art

Juan Pablo Echenique

University of Edinburgh

Kirstin Lamotte

University of Strathclyde

Leon Balchin

Glasgow School of Art

Martha Beatriz Lopez Yrigoyen, Elena Lopez Bravo, Tiffany Tam

University of Edinburgh

Matthew Bracchi, James McIlroy

University of Aberdeen

Oonagh Mannix, Helen Williams

University of Edinburgh

Patrick Renner, Rogelio Arellano, Susanne Mitschke, Gabriela Matic

University of Glasgow

Rachel Thomson

University of Edinburgh

Ritti Soncco Zachmann, Barnaby Searle, Vladimir Kucera

University of Aberdeen

Ryan Johnston

University of Dundee

Sam Multrai

University of Aberdeen

Scott Kerr

University of Strathclyde

Sylvester Sweeney

University of Dundee

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