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

New business start-up for Thurso
Five new jobs have been created thanks to the establishment of a new business in Caithness and Sutherland's energy sector.   Envision Engineering & Design Ltd (Envision) has been set up by directors Liam Sutherland and Stuart Anderson, both of whom are originally from Caithness.  
New business start-up for Thurso
Five new jobs have been created thanks to the establishment of a new business in Caithness and Sutherland's energy sector.   Envision Engineering & Design Ltd (Envision) has been set up by directors Liam Sutherland and Stuart Anderson, both of whom are originally from Caithness.  
HIE wins Carer Positive award
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has received an award for being recognised as a Carer Positive employer.   The Carer Positive award is presented to employers in Scotland who demonstrate a working environment where carers are valued and supported.  
Augmented Reality Is Coming to Inverness
Whether it's immersing your next customer in a digital tour, testing your design concepts before investing in production, or developing ways for patients to receive medical advice virtually, technology is opening up new opportunities for business.   #hellodigital has teamed up with Scottish firm Soluis, which specialises in visualisation and 3D animation, to bring augmented and virtual reality technology to Inverness.  
World's largest free business accelerator lands in the Highlands and Islands
The virtual entrepreneurial accelerator programme was be officially launched on 12th August 2016.   Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has teamed up with Entrepreneurial Spark, powered by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), to deliver the pilot programme which is the first of its kind in the UK.  
Free export advice as export hub visits Highlands
The Export Hub is a UK Government initiative backed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI).   It is currently touring Scotland and will be in Sleat on Skye on Wednesday 31 August; Cairndow 29 August; Inverness 2 September; and Forres 5 September.  
LifeScan Scotland plans £8.7m investment in Inverness
LifeScan Scotland is Scotland's largest life sciences company and part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies.  It currently employs more than 1100 people in Inverness, developing and manufacturing products for the treatment of diabetes.  
Business urged to apply to EDGE fund
Businesses in the Highlands and Islands are being encouraged to apply to the next round of Scottish EDGE funding and the chance to win up to £100,000 each in grants and loans.   The Scottish Government funded competition supports and encourages business growth in Scotland.  
Next fibre broadband areas for Highlands and IslandsThumbnail for article : Next fibre broadband areas for Highlands and Islands
The next areas where fibre broadband is rolling out across Scotland have been announced by Digital Scotland partners today.  See the release here http://bit.ly/fibrenext Local area and progress detail for Highlands and Islands areas are as below: Latest independent figures from Think Broadband confirm 75% coverage across the Highlands and Islands region.  
Wave of optimism for Wick seaweed firmThumbnail for article : Wave of optimism for Wick seaweed firm
The first batches of seaweed have been harvested and processed by a new food and drink business in Wick.   New Wave Foods has invested £240,000 at its newly fitted out premises on the Wick Industrial Estate with support of £60,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).  

[Printer Friendly Version]