It was great to see a packed room of Bristol business folk at the launch of the Bristol Young Student of the Year event at the Bristol hotel last night. The competition has been created by a team of professional business people on a voluntary basis because they are passionate about trying to make a positive difference for Bristol State school children. The competition will give year 12 students an opportunity to work with local businesses and develop critical skills for future employment. Elaine Brown of In Any Event instigated and leads the organising committee and she approached us a few weeks ago to see if we would be willing to get involved. It was such a great initiative and as the main idea of the competition is for the school teams to build an app then of course we were delighted to support the project with the AppFurnace platform and our time.
The school teams will work with four local businesses to come up with an app that will help promote that business. The businesses are The Bloodhound Project, The Station, Bristol Festival Community Group and Hamilton House There will be four teams assigned to each of the four businesses and each team will need to research and understand their client and come up with a great promotional app. Once they have come up with an idea, they will need to design and prototype the app using AppFurnace. The business will decide which they think is the best app and then the best four will be put forward to a public vote to see which is the best overall. The winning app should then be fully completed and we will publish it on the App Store. We will be running a couple of masterclasses with the school teams to help them succeed with their AppFurnace implementation. Just as in real life we will restrict the help that we give each team so that they need to plan and use their time wisely. As well as our masterclass the teams will also get presentation classes from the BBC and a marketing class. You can read and follow the competition in more detail here.
The idea of the launch event last night was to encourage Bristol companies to support the initiative either with funding, so that prizes can be offered to the winning schools, or with time, mentors or endorsement. Indeed the Bristol hotel supported the initiative by providing the launch venue and refreshments. Apparently a lot of the companies who attended have offered support and the organising committee will now be going through the details. So far the team have managed to get the competition underway without any financial backing which I think is an amazing achievement. I am optimistic that there will be continued and growing support, goodwill and perhaps even some sponsorship to help make the initiative a great success.