Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  

 

Hothouse Youth Challenge 2007

11th December 2006

Photograph of Hothouse Youth Challenge 2007

The search continues to find the Highlands and Islands' answer to Richard Branson as the ICT Hothouse Youth Challenge 2007 enters its final month for entries.

The challenge is looking for young entrepreneurs with bright ideas to submit their ideas for information technology and communications of the future.

The most promising ideas are then selected and teams invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of experts in Inverness next month. After a number of rounds, the competition culminates with six teams being chosen to go forward to the Hothouse - an intensive week of team work and expert advice focusing on turning ideas into a reality and producing working prototypes of the ICT gadgets of the future.

Those who applied before November were entered into a prize draw and winners were announced last week, from Speyside High School (Team "Hillbillies"), Dornoch Academy (Team "MBA") and Mallaig High School (Team "now for something completely different").

The application deadline is 20 December and organisers are currently visiting schools, from Caithness to Argyll on the mainland, and on some of the major islands.

Now in its fourth year, the challenge is expanding into England and a dedicated website for young people interested in business is being launched next week. The website is being developed by Andrew Fraser, a former winner of the competition who has gone into business at the tender age of 16.

Andrew is in fifth year at Charleston Academy in Inverness - but this has not prevented him and fellow schoolmate Ewan Hemingway starting a website design company.

Andrew confesses that Youth Challenge, which is supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), BT Scotland, Microsoft and UHI, was the inspiration for nurturing his entrepreneurial spirit and that it has set him on the road to a successful future.

Andrew said: "The Youth Challenge played a huge part in getting me on my feet and starting a company. My two friends and I entered the competition in 2004 and eventually went on to win it in 2005. The main reason we entered was because of the prizes. The prospect of developing our idea properly didn't hit us until the third round or so. After the challenge, Ewan and I thought it would be a good idea to go into business doing website creation and formed Highland Web Services Ltd in July 2006."

The company is currently developing a new product line up and has created a further job for another keen young software developer - Steven Ross, also of Charleston Academy.

Alistair Murray, Youth Challenge project manager, said: "Despite their youth, Andrew and his team have overcome an age barrier, convincing more mature clients that they get a quality, value for money product. After a period of mentoring by ITP Solutions, who run Youth Challenge operations, we are delighted with their website work on Youth Challenge."

Andrew says that although they didn't realise it at first, the challenge taught them vital business skills that can't be learned at school. Regarding the new website for young people interested in business, he said: "There are plenty of websites around that provide young people with support and funding for their business but they're hard to find. So the main aim at the moment is to have links to specific sites that help young people
starting up businesses in the Highlands and Islands. It also has a forum so that companies can leave job vacancies and people can discuss business things with each other."

Brian Weaver, Highlands and Islands Enterprise development manager, added: "The challenge encourages young people to think out of the box and come up with revolutionary new concepts. Youngsters then work together to develop their team working skills and are provided with support and technical advice from experts that allow them to turn their brainwaves into viable proposals."

The Youth Challenge website for young people interested in business will go live next week on www.youth-challenge.co.uk or telephone 08700 636333

The photos shows
Alan Hercher, Andrew Fraser, Tom Gallacher from the 2005 ICT YC winning
team

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

14/11/2014
UK Superfast broadband rollout now one of the fastest in the world
The Government's rollout of superfast broadband has passed more than 1.5 million premises and is now reaching more than 40,000 additional homes and businesses every week.   In the Highlands and Islands more than 30,000 premises can now access a faster and reliable service as a result of the work carried out to date.  
13/11/2014
Collaboration will lead to new opportunities at Inverness CampusThumbnail for article : Collaboration will lead to new opportunities at Inverness Campus
Building work has begun on a new enterprise and research centre at Inverness Campus.   The building will house a new collaboration between two of the region's key strategic organisations.  
11/11/2014
Research reveals value of Gaelic to businesses and communities in Scotland
The economic and social value of Gaelic as a unique asset for Scotland is the focus of a pioneering study which is published today.   Development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has led a partnership project to research ways in which Gaelic is currently being used to deliver economic and social benefits to businesses, social enterprises and communities, and how its impact can be maximised.  
14/10/2014
Thousands more Highland homes in line for superfast broadband
More than 15,000 homes and businesses across Highland will benefit from the next phase of fibre broadband roll-out, as part of the £146m Digital Highlands and Islands project.   Work over the next six months will bring next generation broadband to 15 new communities in the Highlands and Islands, and roll-out is extending into Caithness for the first time.  
8/10/2014
The Caithness Solution - supply chain opportunities
The Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP) is organising an event to allow companies to better understand the Investment and Supply Chain opportunities in the Caithness area.   This one day programme is suitable for Oil & Gas companies who either need capacity for servicing West of Shetland / Atlantic Frontier opportunities, or want to explore the excellent skills base in the area.  
25/7/2014
Subsea cabling work started to create Scottish islands fibre broadband networkThumbnail for article : Subsea cabling work started to create Scottish islands fibre broadband network
The biggest fibre cable laying project undertaken in the UK in recent years has begun on the West Coast of Scotland to deliver superfast broadband to some of the country's most remote island communities.   Thousands of homes and businesses are set to benefit from the publicly funded digital network being built to bring world class connectivity to Scotland.  
18/7/2014
Global buyers to sample Highlands and Islands food and drinkThumbnail for article : Global buyers to sample Highlands and Islands food and drink
Twenty-one food and drink businesses from the Highlands and Islands will attend an unprecedented ‘meet the buyer' event ahead of the Commonwealth Games.   The Showcasing Scotland event is the first large scale event of its type to be run for the Scottish food and drink industry.  
23/6/2014
Highlands And Islands Success At The Scottish EDGE AwardsThumbnail for article : Highlands And Islands Success At The Scottish EDGE Awards
Four Highlands and Islands companies won a total of £173,500 last week in the fourth round of the Scottish EDGE competition.   The Scottish EDGE competition is designed to help innovative young Scottish companies to expand and grow by creating more jobs in Scotland and taking advantage of opportunities to move into international markets.  
16/6/2014
Highlands and Islands businesses polled on Scotland's digital progress
A survey has ben launched to poll around 2,000 companies across the Highlands and Islands on how technology and access to the web impacts on how they do business.   The research, which is part of a Scotland wide project, aims to measure current progress in the digital economy and the extent to which businesses are using and exploiting online opportunities.  
11/6/2014
Highlands and Islands businesses polled on Scotland's digital progress
A survey is being launched today (Wednesday 11 June) to poll around 2,000 companies across the Highlands and Islands on how technology and access to the web impacts on how they do business.   The research, which is part of a Scotland wide project, aims to measure current progress in the digital economy and the extent to which businesses are using and exploiting online opportunities.  

[Printer Friendly Version]