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Young Entrepreneurs Invent Their Way To The Final - Dornoch Academy

28th March 2007

Photograph of Young Entrepreneurs Invent Their Way To The Final - Dornoch Academy

Five teams of talented young entrepreneurs from schools in the Highlands have impressed judges from some of the country's leading businesses this week to make it through to the final stage of the ICT Youth Challenge.

Sixteen teams of budding young entrepreneurs travelled to the Horizon Scotland, Forres on Tuesday this week where they pitched their ideas for the information communication and technology products of the future.

The five teams now have the opportunity to pitch their ideas one last time at the Hothouse final in June. They teams are from Tain Royal Academy, Buckie High School, Charleston Academy, Dornoch Academy and Farr High School.

One of the experts on hand at the forum to help teams develop their ideas was Robin Mannings, research foresight manager for BT, long term sponsors of the ICT Youth Challenge. He said: "It's very exciting to see the next generation of innovators starting to work on their ideas so early in their careers. These young people are our future partners, which makes the Challenge good for BT, good for our partners Highlands and Islands
Enterprise, and good for the economy. We're glad to be helping the next generation in the Highlands and Islands become innovators in ICT."

David Williams, Horizon Scotland's business development director added: "Horizon Scotland is a ground breaking business incubation centre developing innovative and dynamic businesses. The imagination and quality displayed by these young teams has been impressive."

A record number of teams from across the Highlands and Islands entered this year's challenge with only 30 teams taken through to the second phase in January, where they were asked to give a presentation to a panel of judges by video conference.

At the end of the day they had to impress the panel, which included John Edwards of Microsoft, another competition sponsor. He said: "When we entered the ICT Youth Challenge we had no idea that the ideas generated would be of such a high standard with the potential to become real commercial successes. Microsoft is delighted to be involved in this activity as the competition directly addresses the key areas of innovation
and skills and it's essential to offer support to young people with bright ideas."

Now, six qualifying teams will head to the Hot House Final in June for an intensive week of team work and expert advice focussing on how to turn ideas into reality. Prizes include trips to BT's research, technology and IT operations at Adastral Park in England, Microsoft's headquarters in Seattle and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.

Brian Weaver, HIE senior development manager said: "The Challenge rewards and encourages young people to think out of the box and come up with revolutionary new concepts that have the potential to become real commercial successes."

Project manager Alistair Murray said: "Regional support is available for ongoing progression and, most importantly, what these young people are gaining from this experience will be invaluable lessons for the rest of their lives."

Photo Above
Dornoch Academy - "MP ME" - Brianella Scott, Elisha Mackay, Rachel Gunn and
Ruth Mackay

Other Finalists
Farr High - "FHS Girls" - Justine Mackay and Lorna Stewart, Jessica Bostock
and Carly Mackay

Buckie High - Buckie "Challengers" - Rachael Sammon,, Stewart Farquhar,
Megan Wielewski, Daniel Wood and Sarah Stewart.

Charleston Academy - "2 Boys and a Ginger" - Stuart Howieson, Tom Gallacher
and Andrew Fraser.

Tain Royal Academy - "Aizan" Alice Thompson and Jeremy Watssman Douglas
Thompson and Josie Evelyn.


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