Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Meet the young entrepreneurs whose digital businesses just got royal backing

By Sarah Morgan

Yesterday Britain’s young entrepreneurs showcased their digital skills at the iDEA final, hosted by HRH The Duke of York, KG, where they pitched their businesses to a prestigious audience.

With the chance to win up to £15,000 and support from Microsoft, Barclays and Facebook for their digital businesses, the stakes were high.

The prestigious event was hosted by the Duke of York

To reach this final stage, teams of 14-25 year olds proved they had what it takes to become the young entrepreneurs of tomorrow. To do this, they had to demonstrate their skill by taking a business idea from concept to prototype.

Ten talented young teams reached the final, hosted on Monday at St James’ palace. Each team made their pitch, and the winners were announced – congratulations to the young entrepreneurs behind Candle Path, Learner Lane and YOMA Education!

Meet the entrepreneurs of tomorrow

The award ceremony was introduced with an original video from George the Poet, created especially for iDEA.

After pitching their businesses, alongside working prototypes, the winning teams of young entrepreneurs were chosen by a panel of high profile judges, including: Ian Livingstone MBE, Eileen Burbideg of Passion Capital and Annika Small of Nominet Trust.

When describing the winners, The Duke said: “This is the pinnacle of what we’re trying to achieve with iDEA: it is the use of the digital world in order to provide solutions. All of these young people have solved some unique and specialist challenges. I believe they can be standard bearers for all the ideas that are out there”

Ian Livingstone, chairman of the judging panel and founder of Games Workshop, announced the three winners:
  • Candle Path is a mobile application designed to use open data and advanced algorithms to get you from A-B using the safest routes – ideal after a night out / leaving work late. The app will be receiving a re-brand and will launch under the name Luna 
  • The young entrepreneurs behind Learner Lane help students excel by simplifying the process of one-on-one tutoring. Users can search by postcode and book a vetted academic tutor in minutes.
  • Four talented young entrepreneurs created YOMA Education - an app that aims to enrich the communication and learning of children with autism. With user friendly AI and easy-to-use functionality, YOMA hopes to improve the quality of learning for autistic students.

Getting you home safely - Candle Path

Candle Path, Learner Lane and Yoma Education will now each receive £15,000 to develop their ideas, as well as professional mentoring and support from Microsoft Ventures, Barclays and Facebook.

The young team behind YOMA Education

A win for Learner Lane

What is iDEA?

Launched in March 2014 by the Duke of York and Nominet Trust, iDEA supports young people by helping them build skills in digital and enterprise arenas. The competition is open to 14-25 year olds and applicants work in teams of 2 – 4.  This year’s competition saw participation from over 700 young people.

Sign up for next year

If you have a passion for digital technology, and want to see your idea become a reality – sign up now and you’ll be notified once the competition opens again in September 2015.

Register your interest for the for the iDEA 2015/2016 competition

About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.