The Verizon/Unloc Young Entrepreneurs Challenge, an annual online tech-entrepreneurship competition for young people across Europe, has announced the five finalists who will compete for the competition’s £10,000/€11,000 Grand Prize.
The package also includes funding, mentorship and a technology package as well as entry to the One Young World 2022 Tokyo Summit (16-19 May 2022).
The finalists will pitch their ideas live to a panel of expert judges in the Grand Final to be held virtually on March 1, 2022.
The finalists named are:
Nick Cotter (Ireland) – Cotter Agritech: A patented hardware/software solution designed to reduce chemical use in agriculture whilst also improving productivity and profitability. It aims to reduce labour, costs and the drug resistance associated with conventional blanket parasite control and help in the transition to a more precise treatment application on specific animals.
Harry Gadsby (United Kingdom) – Ango: A system designed to help consumers identify sustainable consumer products as they shop online. Ango displays product specific recommendations and where possible, applies a discount to make the products cheaper and more accessible; helping to make retail a greener experience.
Naomi McGregor (United Kingdom) – Movetru: A data-driven, wearable device with sensors designed to monitor physical alignment and form. It aims to target the lower body in order to optimize performance, prevent injury and reduce physical injury recovery time.
Lisa Rossi (Italy) – SoundLence: A physical industrial headset which aims to limit undesirable surround-noise in the workplace. An algorithm ‘learns’ which sounds to filter and which to let through allowing the enabling the user to cancel out noises such as machinery and focus on important sounds such as speech, alarms and moving vehicles.
Alex Witty (United Kingdom) – Compound: An initiative to recycle motorsport industry waste such as tyres and convert it into rubber filaments and resin in order to produce fashionable footwear via 3D printed lattice midsoles. The aim is to reduce carbon-intensive manufacturing methods, minimize material use and avoid tyres being unnecessarily incinerated which adds to environmental pollution.
The Verizon/Unloc Young Enterprise Challenge aims to encourage and attract the young business leaders of tomorrow. The competition challenges young people to consider the worlds of technology, health, the environment and sustainability, and to put forward their tech-led business idea to enrich and benefit the lives of other people.
“This challenge continues to attract amazing young talent from across Europe and this year is no exception,” comments Scott Lawrence, Group Vice President of Verizon Business in Europe. “The innovative business concepts submitted cover a diverse range of industries and topics. It is crucial that we continue to support and nurture these budding entrepreneurs, as they will be the successful business leaders of tomorrow. We’re looking forward to the grand final and can’t wait to witness the ideas in action.”
“Each year we see more applicants from across Europe, and stronger and more focused business ideas from the young people that apply.” said Hayden Taylor, Managing Director of Unloc. “The engagement we’ve had from colleges, universities and organizations this year has been nothing short of spectacular, and it’s allowed us to engage with young people directly, really giving them the support and confidence to apply. The quality of applications this year is so high, it really is going to be tough for the judges to choose a winner from our amazing finalists.”
In addition to the grand prize for the main winner, the remaining four finalists will each receive £1,000 of funding, as well as a one-to-one development plan and a series of flagship masterclasses to give their businesses the best possible start.