The winners of this year’s national Fresh Ideas competition have been revealed today (25 March 2020), with seven entrepreneurs from across Scotland recognised for their innovative business ideas.
Fresh Ideas is Scotland’s longest-running national student enterprise competition for early stage ideas. Run by the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE), 15 finalists were in the running to be awarded a cash prize and continued business support from leading advisors to help progress their change-making concepts.
The five main winners, who will each receive a £1200 cash prize, are:
• Alistair Lea and Shehan Heguragamage, Robert Gordon University Master of Architecture students, with Archilink – an online database to help architects connect with industry professionals in Scotland, reducing time and stress in finding the best person for the job. It will be the first lead generation and site survey in the architecture industry.
• Adam Jack and Daniel Jack, a University of Strathclyde Business Enterprise graduate and student respectively, with ALT-ECO – alternative and environmentally friendly accommodation created from re-purposed shipping containers. The unique accommodation will be trialled initially at a site in Arran and will be completely carbon-neutral and self-sufficient through utilising solar panels, hydroelectricity and responsible waste solutions.
• Joe Gibson, a fourth-year University of Strathclyde Electronic and Electrical Engineering student, with new AI driven anti-drone technology to protect airspaces.
• Robbie MacIssac, a first-year University of Strathclyde Product Design student with FLUX Blowpipe – a bespoke technology for the bagpipe that reduces the risk of a fatal lung disease and prolongs the lifespan of the instrument by cooling and condensing moisture, and then collecting and absorbing it, as the player uses their instrument.
• Sean Fisher, a Product Design Engineering Masters student at Glasgow School of Art, with Bombina – a portable wood burning stove that aims to transform the outdoor lifestyle product industry with its unique and compact design. Weighing only 1.3kg and with a set up time of approx. five minutes, Bombina is designed for campers but also has an emergency shelter application for disaster relief victims as a solution to the ongoing issue of smoke-related deaths.
Two additional winners were recognised in special awards categories – Food & Drink, and Social Impact – and each will receive a £500 prize and dedicated business support. These are:
• Robin Sherriff, a Queen Margaret University Gastronomy graduate, with the idea of establishing Scotland’s first sake brewery after completing a period of study in Kyoto, Japan. The sake would be created using premium Scottish ingredients and water, with the finished product targeted at the high-end convenience drinks market.
• Siri Price, a Strathclyde University Product Design and Innovation graduate, with a unique rucksack designed for homeless people who are forced to sleep rough. Its simple design includes a fully breathable and waterproof rucksack that can be rolled inside the bag.
Fiona Godsman, chief executive of SIE, said: “Year on year, we see such a high calibre of ideas reach the final stage of our Fresh Ideas competition with this year being particularly strong.
“Scotland has one of the most ambitious entrepreneurial ecosystems and we’re proud to be able to give students and recent graduates a platform to develop their ideas and help recognise Scotland as a world leader in innovation.
“We’re really looking forward to continuing to support the Fresh Ideas 2020 winners as they develop their innovative ideas and, despite the immediate challenges that we are all facing, I’m confident that the next year holds great things for them all.”