As part of his commitment to mentor local pupils, entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter, over the last seven year has challenged youngsters to come up with ideas for products, innovations or businesses of the future.
The semi final heat was held at Sir Tom Hunter’s West Coast Accelerator facility at Olympic Business Park in Dundonald where the top two teams of young entrepreneurs were selected to represent East Ayrshire at an all Ayrshire final to be held in Irvine next week.
The winning teams, who each scooped £1,500, were:
- Stewarton Academy
Team Food Filter created a highly personalised app that allows users with food allergies and special dietary requirements to ‘grab a bite without a fright’
- Doon Academy
Team Overulers created a unique product designed to support pupils with reading difficulties. Their product combines an overlay and ruler with key vocabulary and numeracy hints to support learners
Five teams representing Auchinleck Academy, Cumnock Academy, Doon Academy, Loudoun Academy and Stewarton Academy, presented their business plans to a panel of judges – Alex McPhee (Depute Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer, EAC), Michael Keane (Head of Planning and Economic Development, EAC), Wendy Pring (KCP Environmental) and Lorna Gibson (Costley and Costley) – in the Dragons’ Den style contest.
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council said: “This was a keenly fought competition, where our young entrepreneurs had the opportunity to demonstrate not only their business skills, but also their fantastic creativity within a business setting.
“Engagement with business is now securely embedded in the school curriculum and our vision is to ensure that every pupil will develop the skills and abilities for a successful career.
“At the semi final our young entrepreneurs gave a professional pitch for their business ideas. The top two teams received £1500 while all the other teams received £600 from Sir Tom Hunter to develop enterprise within their schools.
“I would like to wish Doon and Stewarton Academies all the very best at the grand final event. The semi final was a great warm up for the young people and I know that they are now ready to take on Ayrshire’s best.”
The Sir Tom Hunter Challenge formed part of the Council’s sector leading business enterprise programme, designed to develop entrepreneurial skills and help make young people ‘business ready’.