Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, yesterday (April 27 2015) announced the three winners of iDEA 2015. Young founders behind Learnerlane, Candle Path and Yoma Education beat off competition to win the annual competition held at St. James’ Palace in London. The inspiring competition which seeks to help thousands of young digitally-driven entrepreneurs, reached its finale by awarding three finalists £15,000 each to develop their “future of digital” start-ups. B60 CEO Chris Williams was in attendance at the award ceremony having mentored young digital enthusiast Mert Mustafa all the way to the final 10.
The winning business ideas were selected by a panel of high profile judges including Ian Livingstone MBE, Eileen Burbidge of Passion Capital, and Annika Small of the Nominet Trust, following a pitching event where the 10 finalist teams presented their business models and plans for growth.
Chris was invited down to London in February to be one of the competition’s many mentors and was paired up with Mert, Founder of PicIt App. The innovative application allows you to share your every day choices with friends, family and the PicIt Universe. It enables you to send your friends up to four pictures for them to vote on and has an unlimited choice of topics to choose from. And having worked closely with Chris, Mert and the PicIt App managed to make the final 10 of the completion, narrowly missing out on the top three.
Each of the three winners will now receive £15,000 to develop their ideas and will also receive professional support and mentoring from partners such as Microsoft Ventures, Barclays and Facebook. The event, which was launched by HRH The Duke of York and Nominet Trust in March 2014, aims to directly support young people to establish successful digital businesses and develop critical digital and enterprise skills along the way.
The three winners were:
- Learnerlane: An online platform to help parents and students find a local tutor
- Candle Path: A mobile app to plot the safest route home
- Yoma Education: A virtual teaching assistant for autistic children to learn alongside their peers
Commenting on the winners, The Duke of York said: "This is the pinnacle of what we're trying to achieve with this competition: 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."
Over the next few years, it aims to support over 1,000,000 young people to develop and grow into digital business gurus, mirroring their team mentors’ successes. It’s a competition where young digital enthusiasts can dare to dream.
The competition will re-open for entries on 1st September 2015.