However, it also increased entrepreneurialism among younger people, with a third of 18–34-year-olds wanting to launch their own independent enterprise. As a result of this, 63 Young Innovators across the UK have won the award and now form the 2021/22 cohort.
Diversity and Inclusion are at the heart of the Young Innovators programme, which forms an integral part of Innovate UK’s 2021-2025 Plan for Action for UK Business Innovation. Each Young Innovator will receive a £5,000 grant, an allowance to cover living costs and one-to-one business coaching from an Innovate UK EDGE Innovation Growth Specialist. As part of our delivery of Innovate UK EDGE, our Innovation Growth Specialists will work with each award winner to develop a tailored action plan, provide networking opportunities, assist with financial planning, and ultimately support the Young Innovators to exploit their innovations, grow their business to meet future demands and eventually contribute towards the UK’s economic growth.
The award winners in the East of England are:
Sam Hankin – Hankin Digital
Hankin Digital enables students to keep track of their learning inside and outside of the classroom, while a gamified element allows them to collect digital badges.
Ben Meen – WorkLocal
WorkLocal helps home-based workers discover local pubs, bars, and cafes to work from and facilitates group working and meet-ups – whilst at the same time allowing venues to attract much-needed customers.
Jack Peden – Druid Technology
Druid Technology sets out to make tech chargers obsolete. Druid will create wearable devices that charge themselves by harvesting waste energy, such as body heat.
George Terry – Vysion Technologies
Vysion Technologies aims to create a smarter water network. They are developing a device that collects and transmits data from water pipeline networks to track leaks.
International Business Partnering Manager for Innovate UK EDGE, Heather Benham, comments on the process of working with the Young Innovators “The Young Innovators feel that it’s really helpful to have a weekly check-in as it keeps them on track. It makes them accountable for what they have said they are going to deliver in their project plan and action plan. It’s also a great opportunity to discuss wins that they’ve had, review applications for funding or awards, any other issues or problems, to introduce experts in specific areas from the wider Innovate UK EDGE team and to introduce any other innovation tools we can work on together.”
Alongside St John’s Innovation Centre, Exemplas also delivers Innovate UK EDGE in the East of England. We enable ambitious innovative businesses with strong commercial potential to significantly improve the UK economy to accelerate their growth and achieve scale.