The following eight businesses have made it through to the Final of the Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2011 in London on 9th November.
Chris Dodson (Concept Cupboard)
Concept Cupboard is an online marketplace that enables businesses to buy affordable creative services from art students and unemployed graduates hoping to break into the creative industry. Concept Cupboard's main aim is to help students and unemployed graduates find full-time work as soon as possible. By providing them with the opportunity to work on real briefs, Concept Cupboard helps the art students and graduates build commercial portfolios, earn money, and improve their job prospects. In return, businesses get the chance to work with highly motivated, innovative people who can help their businesses grow.
Rosemary Francis (Ellexus)
Ellexus provides software development and debugging tools designed to help engineers understand and control the way complex pieces of software work together. Their unique technology traces interactions between files and programs so that engineers can view their system graphically. They can follow the flow of data or explore system details in order to solve installation and dependency problems or record their system for another to look at. This means they spend less time reading the scripts whenever they need to understand a new system or make a change and can use graphs to automatically document the system and share it with others.
David Grimes and Paul Haydock (myParcelDelivery.com)
myParcelDelivery.com is an online comparison website for courier services across the UK and International markets, serving businesses, eBay users and the wider public. Partnered with some of the largest courier firms in the world (including DHL, TNT and City Link), myParcelDelivery.com is able to pass on the high volume discounts it receives to its users, helping them save on their parcel delivery requirements. The business offers free shipping software, a parcel delivery management area, live parcel tracking, and a dedicated customer service team. The business has also joined carbon offsetting schemes to enable customers to reduce their carbon footprint on each delivery.
Laurence Kemball-Cook (Pavegen Systems)
Pavegen Systems produces paving slabs which generate electricity from footsteps. The slab harvests the wasted kinetic energy from each footstep and converts it into off-grid renewable power. A Pavegen slab can generate up to seven watts of power from a single footstep – enough to power 40 LEDs for one minute. The power generated can either be stored or used instantly to power low-energy applications, such as street lighting, way-finding solutions, advertising displays and more. Pavegen slabs are largely constructed using recycled, low carbon materials such as re-used lorry tyres and recycled polymer.
Michael Korn (KwickScreen)
KwickScreen is a portable, retractable room divider that provides flexible isolation or privacy solutions in healthcare. KwickScreens have a very small footprint for easy storage and use, and are simple to transport and clean. KwickScreens enable hospitals to make the best use of space, offering the flexibility to change a room’s layout. The product helps prevent healthcare-acquired infections, in addition to resolving issues with mixed sex accommodation and general privacy and dignity problems. KwickScreens can be printed, which adds colour and interest to wards and can be used to display important messages to staff and visitors.
Isabel Lizardi (Bare Conductive)
Bare Conductive has developed a patent pending technology that delivers a new platform for flexible electronics, providing the only skin-safe and non-toxic conductive paints available to consumers today. Developed as a soft interface for electronic devices, Bare offers safe and accessible products for both professionals and individuals seeking consumer-friendly conductive materials. The company's unique platform technology allows users to explore a range of prototyping and R&D projects in the consumer and technology sectors. The company strives to use materials that are renewable and innocuous and believes the technology will encourage re-use of complementary technologies and substrates, thereby minimising environmental impact.
Joanna Montgomery (Little Riot)
Little Riot is an interaction design company that aims to connect people with technology through design. The business is currently developing Pillow Talk, a product that enables couples separated by distance to feel connected to each other. By using technology to suggest ‘presence’, Pillow Talk provides an intimate and engaging interaction that is entirely physical as opposed to being screen-based. The business believes the demand for ‘digital intimacy’ will continue to grow, as people are starting to expect more from the kind of technology Pillow Talk provides. The technology can also be applied to other relationships, such as that between mothers and babies.
Christopher Yeomans (Estriatus Energy)
Estriatus Energy was established to bring to market a type of hydro technology turbine that relies upon fast flowing water, rather than falling water, in order to generate renewable electricity. This feature allows the turbine to be non-permanent, floating on the water's surface as opposed to being cemented into any kind of dam or other permanent structure. In this way, the technology poses no threat to local wildlife and offers a clean, non-invasive, environmentally friendly alternative to conventional hydro power systems.
What happens next?
The next stage of the competition will see each of these young entrepreneurs face a panel of judges at Shell Centre in London on 8th November, before the overall winner is announced the following day after the Shell LiveWIRE LIVE! event on 9th November 2011.
Source: Shell liveWire