TalkTalk and Founders Forum reveal winners
• 10 finalists whittled down to one winner as young entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to global business leaders in London
• The event was judged by Sir Charles Dunstone and Baroness Martha Lane-Fox, with Simon Cowell also giving his verdict on the finalists
• Audience included Founders of Skype, Uber and LinkedIn
24 year olds Paul de Panisse Passis and Tiarvando Lasiman have been selected by a star-studded panel including TalkTalk Founder and Chairman Sir Charles Dunstone, Baroness Martha Lane-Fox, and Peter Gabriel to win £10,000 to bring their business idea to life. Simon Cowell also ran the rule over the contenders at an event hosted by Davina McCall.
The ultimate business pitch opportunity for 10 budding young entrepreneurs took place at the Founders Forum, The Grove, and is the culmination of a process that has seen young people from across the country, aged between 14 and 25, submit their original tech ideas.
The winning idea was Gyroglove, a wearable tech glove which counteracts he hand tremors commonly associated with Parkinson’s disease. Over 200 million people worldwide are affected by hand tremors, but this device stabilises the hand directly without invasive surgery, aiming to reduce tremors by up to 60%.
Commenting on the finalists, Simon Cowell said: “Congratulations to everyone who was shortlisted. All the ideas were really smart and it was great to be a part of this competition. How these young people think of this stuff I just don’t know? Gyroglove really impressed me as it actually has the potential to be a medical breakthrough.”
Sir Charles Dunstone, Founder and Chairman of TalkTalk says: “There were so many brilliant ideas in this competition and we could have given the prize to any of the finalists. However, we recognised that the £10,000 we are offering has the potential to most transform and develop this idea, in terms of making the device smaller and getting it to the people who need it the most. That’s why the prize went to Gyroglove.”
The finalists also got the chance to meet and pitch to some of the most amazing business leaders and venture capitalists in the world including Eric Schmidt (Google), Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Niklas Zennstrom (Skype), Phil Libin (Evernote), Garrett Camp (Uber), Kevin Ryan (Gilt Group), Archie Norman (ITV) and Jim McKelvey (Square).
The two runners up were Watch Out Diabetes and Palletech. Dina Radenkovic, 20 years old from University College London presented the Watch Out Diabetes app, which adjusts insulin drug doses based on an individual’s lifestyle and illness, to prevent potentially fatal doses of hypoglycaemia. Meanwhile, Richard Linkesch, 25, and Anthony Waiman, 23, both from the University of Cambridge presented Palletech – a sensor that can be installed in transportation pallets in order for companies to be able to monitor factors such as immediate stock updates and location info.
Since the competition opened in April, hundreds of original ideas have been submitted, in 140 characters or less, for a new technology business via the F Factor website.
As a leading technology company, TalkTalk’s partnership with the Founders Forum builds on a number of existing initiatives run by the broadband provider to drive innovation and promote digital skills. TalkTalk is a founding partner of Go ON UK, supports Internet Matters and most recently has started working closely with Decoded to run a digital training programme for employees to empower individuals and cultivate the company’s digital first culture.
As part of its commitment to promote digital inclusion, TalkTalk has also this week opened entries for the TalkTalk Digital Heroes Awards 2015, celebrating inspirational people who use digital technology to make their communities, and Britain, Better Off.
TalkTalk continues to be proud sponsors of The X Factor, with 2015 marking its eighth consecutive year of sponsorship.