Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  

 

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

26/1/2018
Norscot In Line For National Innovation AwardThumbnail for article : Norscot In Line For National Innovation Award
A kit home and window manufacturer with operations in Caithness and Inverness has been shortlisted for a national award for innovation.   Norscot is one of three finalists in the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2018 Innovation of the Year category, after developing a system for clients to view their new homes on site virtually before building work starts.  
HIE Invests In Ambitious Shetland Engineering Firm
A Shetland boat building and engineering company has increased its workforce and is set to expand internationally as orders for workboats grow.   Six new jobs have already been created at Malakoff Ltd after opening a new site earlier this year at Greenhead Base in Lerwick.  
£60 Million Fund Open For Low Carbon Projects
A £60m fund to keep Scotland at the forefront of low carbon innovation is now open for applications.   The Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP) will fund large scale projects which support the ambitions of the Scottish Government's new Scotland's Energy Strategy, which was published in December 2017.  
Jobs Created In Orkney As Software Development Company Expands
A global software development business with its technology hub based in Orkney is moving to larger premises.   Kyloe is set to double its staff in the next few years and has secured £191,250 investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to help it move to a more suitable premises.  
Call to Food and Drink and Tourism businesses to feed into new strategy
Recent VisitScotland figures have highlighted that 62%* of holidaymakers to Scotland said trying locally sourced food and drink is an important part of their visit.   Share In a bid to capitalise on the benefits of a close relationship between food and drink producers and the tourism sector, a range of industry representatives and public agencies are working together to develop a new strategy - the ‘National Framework to Grow Food Tourism'.  
Highlands And Islands Datafest18
A special week long programme is being held in the Highlands and Islands de-mystifying the ways data can be used to change lives, deliver better services and grow business.   Share Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is co-ordinating a local Fringe programme as part of the Scottish DataFest18 festival, organised by The Data Lab.  
Auchrannie Completes Transfer Of Ownership To Employees
Luxury resort Auchrannie has completed its transition to become Scotland's latest employee-owned business, with 160 members of staff becoming owners.   Share Located in Brodick on the Isle of Arran, Auchrannie is an award-winning resort comprising two 4-star hotels, thirty 5-star self-catering lodges, two leisure clubs, three individually branded restaurants, a children’s Playbarn, an ASPA spa and Arran Adventure outdoor company.  
Is Cyber Security Part Of Your Business Plan?Thumbnail for article : Is Cyber Security Part Of Your Business Plan?
The increasing use of digital services in a connected world brings an increasing threat of cyberattack.  The Internet that connects systems doesn't discriminate between the type of traffic it allows on the network, it is our responsibility to manage this when we connect to and use the Internet by recognising and reducing the risk as appropriate.  
£16m Highland Innovation Boost
A new £16 million initiative is to be launched in the Highlands to boost innovation.   The Northern Innovation Hub (NIH) will focus on four key industry sectors.  
Island Music Studio Aims To Attract Global StarsThumbnail for article : Island Music Studio Aims To Attract Global Stars
A new residential music studio in the Outer Hebrides is set to capitalise on its scenic location and high-end technology to attract both UK and international recording artists.   Black Bay Studio has opened for business on the island of Great Bernera just off the west coast of the Isle of Lewis.  

[Printer Friendly Version]