Taras Lanchev and Ryan Scollan have started the new year with a boost after winning a coveted award for their new business projects.
Taras Lanchev (23) from Belfast has invented Calbot, a calendar plugin that automatically and privately scans people’s calendars across different organisations to find a time when everybody in the group is available for a meeting.
The device is set to save businesses hundreds of hours.
And sports scientist Ryan Scollan (25) from Bangor, has combined his sports background with his passion for gaming to create Gscience to help gamers look after their health. His idea includes an athlete monitoring system which combines data on a player’s health with their in-game data to track their wellness and performance.
The Young Innovators Awards recognise young people from across the UK with great business ideas who have the potential to become successful entrepreneurs and future leaders in innovation. Following an unprecedented level of entries, with an 87% increase in applications year-on-year, 64 young people have started the New Year with a boost after getting the coveted award, double the number of award winners of previous years.
With recent research showing over a third of 18 to 34 year olds want to launch an independent enterprise in 2021, compared to 28% of 35 to 54 year olds, it’s even more important the support is available to those who want to venture into starting a business.
The winners from Northern Ireland, are two of 64 inspiring young people who will receive Young Innovators awards this year, each benefiting from a £5,000 grant, one-on-one business coaching and an allowance to cover living costs.
The programme is set to continue rewarding young people from diverse backgrounds until at least 2023. This year, 49% of the winners are female; nearly a third are black, Asian or from an ethnic minority background; 17% have a disability and the projects cover all regions across the UK.
From a way to help stroke survivors on the road to rehabilitation to support for parents to protect their children online, all of this year’s innovators have ideas that promise to address current challenges. Ideas this year span everything from technology to physical and mental health and from sustainability to fashion.
Taras said: “Currently, people spend 15 minutes scheduling a single meeting with one other participant because of the email ping-pong. This is a huge time waster. I am over the moon to be selected as one of the winners.”
Ryan Scollan said: “I applied to gain access to the resources, network and support needed to accelerate the growth of Gscience”.
Emily Nott, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Innovate UK, said: “With 2020 proving to be an incredibly difficult year, maintaining our focus on Young Innovators was a priority for Innovate UK since finding the great entrepreneurial minds of the future is more important than ever. Working alongside this year’s winners, Innovate UK will help them grow and develop their business idea to make the world a better, and more innovative place. We can’t wait to see what they achieve this year.”
Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “While the past year has brought significant challenges for us all, it has also shone a light on the best of British ingenuity, with young people across the country harnessing their entrepreneurial spirit to help the UK respond to these challenges. From mobile apps supporting our brilliant NHS staff to online mentoring tools helping graduates find employment, the inspiring business ideas we are backing today will help to unleash our next generation of innovators as we build back better from the pandemic.”
Details on all 64 Young Innovators can found here. If you’re an inspiring young innovator, check out how Innovate UK could support you here: https://ktn-uk.org/programme/young-innovators/
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