The CEO of a Swindon-based tech company has appealed to young people in Swindon and the Cotswolds to share their product ideas and perhaps win a cash prize in The Cotswold Challenge.
Andy Langley of Ntegra – one of the judges of the Innovation & Enterprise Category, which is aimed at young people between 15 and 19 – says talented teens may not even realise they have a business idea that would work in the 'real world'.
“In our community, there are talented teenagers who may not even realise they have an idea which would work in the ‘real world’," said Andy.
"I would encourage them all to submit their idea around creating something new, improving something or solving a problem in society or business.”
Andy and the team at Ntegra, a Swindon-based company that works with world-famous brands, are committed to supporting young people in the town and embracing new talent.
“As we move further into the digital age, we are in need of so many skills in Swindon, Wiltshire and the South West. Many young people lack confidence and yet they have great ideas, and they often have a refreshing perspective. My advice is to not be afraid and go for it.”
The Cotswold Challenge is in its second year and was set up by a group of self-employed entrepreneurs during lockdown to provide a positive outlet for young people.
One is Nigel Chute of Chute Design who is an expert in bringing products and ideas to market.
He said: “The Cotswold Challenge was set up to help students in Swindon and the Cotswolds that were going to miss out on their GCSEs and A-Levels. It is clear that the pandemic has had a disproportionate and negative effect on young people and this project is designed to counter that.”
“We are offering young people the opportunity to share their talent and possibly win a cash prize. Even more valuable, the judges in each category are very successful in their field and it could be the start of a very important relationship as these young people take their next steps in their lives.”
Andy has come up with ten ideas that could work in the Innovation & Design category:
- A product/service/digital solution which is entirely new, and which serves a practical purpose.
- A product/service/digital solution which brings joy and happiness to people.
- A product/service/digital solution which is based on something well known yet is improved through a modification or a modernisation.
- A product/service/digital solution which offers a way to tackle some of the UK’s big issues around sustainability, recycling, waste or climate change.
- A product/service/digital solution which solves a problem for a particular group of people eg. The elderly or the very young.
- A product/service/digital solution which solves a problem in a manufacturing or business process.
- A product/service/digital solution which works with renewable sources of energy.
- A product/service/digital solution which supports a business sector such as therapists.
- A product/service/digital solution which supports the world of sport, offering something new or different.
- A well thought out idea for setting up a new business in the digital age.
Andy said: “Many teenagers may think that innovation means they have to create something entirely new however that’s not the case.
"Innovation means many things. It can mean improving on something that already exists, it can mean plugging a gap in a business or manufacturing process, or it can mean a business idea and a clear vision of how to make it into a reality.”
The Cotswold Challenge is open for entries until the evening of Tuesday, July 6. There is a top prize of £500 in three categories of Art & Design, Creative Writing, and Innovation & Enterprise. The second prize is £300, third prize is £100 and there are some runners’ up prizes too.
New for this year is The Special Recognition Award for Outstanding Talent. One student from each of the three categories will be chosen to receive a £250 prize by the founding team for their contribution. To enter visit www.thecotswoldchallenge.com
Established in 2003, Ntegra has gone on to work with brands including Vodafone, Waitrose and WPP. The team is now more than 40 strong in Swindon itself with specialist IT associates worldwide.