Students show innovative ideas in GCHQ-hosted Young Entrepreneurs competition
In a "Dragons' Den"-style competition, Year 9 (13-14 year-old) pupils from seven Gloucestershire schools had to pitch their ideas to a panel of GCHQ and GFutures judges.
All the finalists qualified for today’s event through winning similar competitions in local schools over the last few months. At each stage they had to demonstrate an innovative idea around a number of different themes.
With a loose theme of 'Traffic and Travel' the pitches took into account cyber security, business technology, communications devices and the art of making a busy business person's life easier.
Working in teams of four to six, the pupils had to pitch an idea that considered aspects of essential business processes such as finance, advertising and marketing that could make their idea a reality.
Deputy Chief Technical Officer at GCHQ and head judge said: "This is one of the most enjoyable things of the year I do, because to see the enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit of the youngsters makes me really optimistic for the future.
"And I hope they start applying for jobs soon!" he added.
The panel had to consider originality and the usefulness of the students' ideas, how the teams proposed to market them, their understanding of the costs involved and also how well they presented their ideas to the judges.
The winning team from Cheltenham College received a trophy and commemorative shield after they impressed the judges with the Helm-i - a multi-functional safety helmet for both sport and travel that allows the wearer to access information and entertainment while on the move.
Jason Dunsford from GFutures said: "This is a tremendous opportunity for us to engage with schools and business people that volunteer their time, to help bridge the gap between education and business. We are proud to partner GCHQ in encouraging young people to think about innovation and the related business processes of successfully taking a product or service to the market."