Three of this year’s Young Innovator Award winners, recently announced by Innovate UK and The Prince’s Trust, are from Yorkshire & the Humber. Antoinette Adams, Michael Omotosho and Casey Woodward have started the new year with a boost after winning a coveted award for their new business projects.
The innovators from Yorkshire & the Humber looking to make the world a better place are:
- Casey Woodward (29 years old), York – whose company AgriSound, uses the Internet of Things for the remote monitoring of beehives and allows beekeepers in Yorkshire to monitor the hives – from what their producing to the health of the colony – in real-time.
- Antoinette Adams (29 years old) – whose founded JWEL, a jewellery company with a difference. Antoinette’s Mother Earth collection, for example, sees her collaborate with a community of reiki healers and yoga teachers, to create a bespoke chakra experience for the individual customer.
- Michael Omotosho (28 years old) – whose Plugull, an electrical plug pull that makes it easier to remove stiff or fiddly plugs from sockets is designed to help those suffering from loss of dexterity and arthritis
The Young Innovators Awards recognise young people from across the UK with great business ideas who have the potential to become successful entrepreneurs and future leaders in innovation. Following an unprecedented level of entries, with an 87% increase in applications year-on-year, 64 young people have started the New Year with a boost after getting the coveted award, double the number of award winners/recipients of previous years. With recent research showing over a third of 18 to 34 year olds want to launch an independent enterprise in 2021, compared to 28% of 35 to 54 year olds, it’s even more important the support is available to those who want to venture into starting a business.
The winners from Yorkshire & the Humber, are three of 64 inspiring young people who will receive Young Innovators awards this year, each benefitting from a £5,000 grant, one-on-one business coaching and an allowance to cover living costs. The programme is set to continue awarding young people from diverse backgrounds until at least 2023. This year, 49% of the winners are female; nearly a third are Black, Asian or from an ethnic minority background; 17% have a disability and the projects cover all regions across the UK.
From a way to help stroke survivors on the road to rehabilitation to support for parents to protect their children online, all of this year’s Young Innovators have ideas that promise to address current challenges. Ideas this year span everything from technology to physical and mental health and from sustainability to fashion.
Commenting on their award and plug pull product helping those suffering from loss of dexterity and arthritis, Michael Omotosho said, “It is very easy to attach and use – and great for colour and cable management, with a glow in the dark option for night-time visibility. I would like the opportunity to grow my business idea and gain the support needed to achieve commercial success.”
Similarly, Casey Woodward, said, “We have developed a core line of products for beekeepers which enable real-time monitoring of beehive productivity and colony health, from any web browser, which are now sold via a UK distributor. I’ve applied for the programme to meet like-minded entrepreneurs and benefit from the diversity of businesses around us.”
Emily Nott, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Innovate UK says: “With 2020 proving to be an incredibly difficult year, maintaining our focus on Young Innovators was a priority for Innovate UK since finding the great entrepreneurial minds of the future is more important than ever. Working alongside this year’s winners, Innovate UK will help them grow and develop their business idea to make the world a better, and more innovative place. We can’t wait to see what they achieve this year.”
Amanda Solloway Science Minister said: “While the past year has brought significant challenges for us all, it has also shone a light on the best of British ingenuity, with young people across the country harnessing their entrepreneurial spirit to help the UK respond to these challenges.
“From mobile apps supporting our brilliant NHS staff to online mentoring tools helping graduates find employment, the inspiring business ideas we are backing today will help to unleash our next generation of innovators as we build back better from the pandemic.”