Eight finalists met on Thursday evening for the Grand Final of this year’s Cultivate Programme, a budding entrepreneur challenge, where 15-year-old Seamus Gate, from Theale Green School, went away with the winning prize of £500! His business idea was Gateway Travel Smart Case, an impact-proof suitcase with a GPS tracker, lock, easy to identify badge and battery power bank, designed so you never lose your suitcase again!
“I always thought it was quite a niche product where it was either going to go really well or fall flat on its face, I’m really happy with the outcome,” said Seamus.
“I loved it to bits. The idea of taking the product from a little idea in your head to actually making the physical product and presenting it to a panel of judges has been really great fun. I think I will try and develop it, I was thinking about crowd funding so people who have an interest in the product can order one and fund the development, and then see how it goes from there,” he commented.
Cultivate was created by Education Business Partnership to encourage curious, self-motivated young people to take some important first steps to develop a business idea. The challenge was open to anyone between 12-19 years of age and finalists were selected to work with local business mentors over a 6-month period to develop their idea further.
The final was held at Bayer’s new UK headquarters in Green Park, Reading. A panel of four business professionals judged the business pitches and the thirty second promotional video that each finalist had submitted. Sara Parris, from the Thames Valley Chamber, one of the judges, said, “I was actually quite nervous about coming along today as I’ve never judged before, but once those kids got going the nerves went. Within the first couple of presentations I thought I already had my winners nailed, but by the end of it they shook the whole thing up.”
She continued, “They were all amazing and so confident coming in to present to four judges. They were an inspiration and I loved every minute of it. It’s been great fun, an absolute privilege and I’d love to get more involved next time.”
The runners up prizes were won by Abigail and Maddy from Little Heath School with their business ‘Find My Pet’ a device to keep track of your pet and Ashton from Theale Green School with ‘SLAM’, a healthy smoothie business.
Cultivate 2017 was made possible by the sponsorship from Bayer and Greenham Common Trust, and EBP extends their warmest thanks to both for giving local young people the opportunity to shine in this way.