Last week we kicked off our programme of Feeder Events with three days of ideas generation and innovation, seeking to kickstart the nation’s economic recovery and focusing on the first of four Challenges – Building Better Communities.
As keynote speaker Patrick Vernon OBE remarked “It’s going to be critical for the future that we invest in people,” and we were delighted to see so many great ideas generated, with community spirit at the heart of everyone’s pitches. As well as Patrick, we had keynotes from Laura-Jayne Rawlings from Youth Employment UK , Graham Duxbury, CEO of Groundwork, as well as Ingenuity Alumni Anika Vassell, who launched her company Teen-Behaviour.com after developing the idea at last year’s Ingenuity competition.
The team who won first place were Abdi Salad, Kajal Hamjad and Mohamed Elamin, whose community-led tower block WiFi idea netted them the top prize of £3,000, funded by Santander Universities.
“Our winning idea was simple,” said Abdi, a recent Economics graduate and one of the University of Nottingham’s Witty Entrepreneurial Scholars. “It was to provide a shared internet connection system to residents of tower blocks across the UK. This would make WiFi cheaper, far more reliable and quicker. Since consumers would save so much, we also plan to reinvest profits into community-led activities and workshops.
“We are very proud to have won with our idea and would like to thank the Ingenuity team for believing in its merit as much as we do. Funding like this is what creates real improvement for low income communities and we are honoured to have been awarded the funding by Ingenuity to help drive such important change.”
Second place was awarded to Ikra Mahmood, Gabriel Achampong and Yolande King for their idea – using sport as a tool to create greater inter-generational connection. Their plan is to create an online and physical platform with volunteering opportunities, relating to sports and academics.
Ikra, a third-year medical student at the University of Nottingham, reflected on the event afterwards. “The Ingenuity events were packed with inspiring speakers and they really allowed you to reflect, critically evaluate and develop a business idea. It was an absolutely amazing experience that I would recommend to everyone. Go for it!”
If you’re interested in Building Better Communities, don’t forget to register your interest for the full Ingenuity Programme. Launching in September, we’ll be looking to invest over £400,000 in bold new ideas that make a difference to the world we live in.