It gives us great pleasure to announce the winner of our Young Entrepreneur Grant 2015. Established to assist Norfolk's budding entrepreneurs, the grant offers aspiring young business people aged between 16 and 25 the opportunity to benefit from a £1,000 fund either to further their education, enhance their training or establish their start-up business, and the scheme has been so well-received this is the third year it has been running.
This year's winner is Tom Bullard, a 25 year old graduate who has just completed a Master's degree at the University of Huddersfield. Tom has moved back to Norwich, where he grew up, to establish a software and game development business with a friend whom he met at University. With first class degrees in their respective disciplines (design and programming) their goal is to create a piece of software aimed at schools, to address new government legislation mandating computer science as part of the national school curriculum.
Tom's idea captured the entire office as it totally encompassed our own message - educate and support, develop. Tom explained:
"We recognise that computer science is a challenge to both learn and teach. We have also found there is a dearth of software aimed at high school pupils presently available to help with this transitional period. With our expertise and knowledge we feel we can create a product that benefits both schools and equips the next generation with the right tools for learning. As a bonus, if we are successful, it will help us establish as a studio moving forward."
The product itself is a simple and intuitive tool to help students with their computer science studies, and following initial conversations with schools in both Norfolk and Kirklees they have received a positive reception to their idea.
The aim is to develop the product into a working prototype that can be tested in schools during the Summer and Autumn terms with an expected full release during the next school year. The product will be packaged and sold as a modular system; whereby schools can purchase the areas they feel are relevant and Tom and his colleague have already recognised the opportunity for growth by adding further aspects of the computer science curriculum in the future.
Tom will be using the grant to take the product to market, as it will pay for all the software they would need for a year, the hire of developers to create the website platform to sell the product and also to attend events to show and market the product.
For now, however, Tom and his business partner are focussing on developing the product, so they are looking for schools, specifically IT and Computer Science teachers to get in touch, as they would like to garner teacher input to help shape the application as well as to establish schools willing to trial the software. For anyone interested, Tom can be e-mailed at email@example.com