The future is safe in their hands: Scotland’s next generation of entrepreneurs showcase their tech innovations

On February 23rd students from across Scotland; Wick High School, Dunoon Grammar and Drumchapel High School gathered in Edinburgh to showcase their tech for good products to industry professionals. Students were meeting the experts to ask for feedback and advice on how to take their projects to the next level. They also had the opportunity to attend exciting workshops run by volunteers from Skyscanner, Social Investment Scotland and Digital Xtra Fund.

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As part of the Apps for Good course delivered by their teachers these teams of young people have been working together to create apps and IoT products to tackle the problems and issues that matter most to them. Problems the students tackled with the designs they showcased in Edinburgh included global hunger, cycling safety, homelessness, recycling, bad posture, food safety, smart cupboards and electrical safety.

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The day started with students prepping their pitches in the marketplace. It was evident a lot of work had been put into preparing the boards which were used to showcase their work. The extent of background research was extremely strong; with students demonstrating a deep understanding of why it was important to solve the problem they were tackling. There was also strong demonstrations of the code they had been working on to create their prototypes.

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Once guests started to arrive the marketplace was buzzing with excited students trying to get the attendees votes in the People’s Choice Award. Many guests found it tough to pick just one project to vote for as the quality of work on display was so high. The winning team were ‘Med Note’ from Dunoon Grammar School who’s IoT pill box sends push notifications to your phone to remind you to take your medication. Second prize was given to students from the ‘Step Off’ team; their product alerts you if you’ve left any electricals switched on when you leave the house. Third prize was for the impressive ‘Light Bike’ which ensures safety for cyclists and even lets them use indicators to show their direction.

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The presentation of the People’s Choice Awards was by last year’s students from ‘Safe Step’ and ‘Sunhat’. Last year ‘Safe Step’ went on to win the IoT category at the national awards and although ‘Sunhat’ didn’t make it to the finals, Annie from the team was keen to tell students not winning isn’t the end and they should continue to pursue their idea like she has.  It was then time for a quick lunch break before the afternoon of workshops began.

During the workshops students got the opportunity to learn how to sell and market their idea, how to build a social business and how to manage usability testing. They learnt lots to stand them in good stead for pitching for a finalist place in the national competition. Students said they were happy they got to use their creativity in these workshops and that the activities helped them to improve on working together as part of a team. One of the students’ feedback of the day was that the event “put me in the mindset that I can do a lot more than I thought I could”

Apps for Good Head of Education and Events Natalie Moore said “Seeing the innovative ideas the students were showcasing was inspirational and made me realise the future is very safe in the hands of these young people. It was great to see so many students from across Scotland excited about the potential technology has to make a positive impact on society.”

One of the event attendees Cat Ainsworth of the Dot Project saidI was totally blown away by the ideas, inspiration and thoughtfulness of the students I met on Friday – it was a fantastic insight.”

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We’d like to thank our supporters in Scotland; including BNY Mellon, Digital Xtra Fund, Skyscanner and Social Investment Scotland for their involvement in making the day such a success. The celebration also coincided with Scotland’s year of the Young People which is a global first; celebrating the very best of Scotland and its young people. The year aims to inspire Scotland through its young people, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contribution to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally.

The next generation of Scottish entrepreneurs were an inspiration to everyone in attendance at the event as the quality of the work from these young teenagers was exceptional. Watch this space!

 

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