Thursday, 6 December 2007

Press Release

Red Button Design win £45,000 in Oxford University's 21st Century Challenge Competition with their life saving water transport, sanitation and storage device.

The trio scooped a total of £45,000 in prizes on the night for their Reverse Osmosis Sanitation System (ROSS) which can effectively and cheaply provide safe water for the developing world.

Entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, policy makers, academics, corporate guests, sponsors and competitors gathered at the Saïd Business School in Oxford for the annoucement this week. The judges awarded two prizes, the first a £10,000 prize to a company addressing a pertinent problem affecting people in the 21st Century and a second for £35,000 awarded to the ‘Global’ winner representing the most investable social enterprise.

Steve Rayner, Director of the James Martin Institute for Science and Civilisation at Saïd commented:

‘The competition exemplifies what the School stands for, bringing together business with social and environmental issues that address the problems we are faced with in the 21st Century. The strength and quality of submissions was outstanding and the overall winner was selected on its ability to meet certain criteria; the scale of the problem being addressed; the impact of the individual business on problem solving; and for its simplicity and elegance’.

The 21st Century Challenge, the largest such competition in the UK, is designed to encourage commercial solutions to help solve the major social and environmental challenges of the 21st Century. More than 180 entries were received from 23 countries. Participants had to submit a five page business plan focusing on one of the three challenge tracks. Three finalists were drawn from the entries to each track and the nine finalists then went forward to the grand final event and pitched their business plans to a panel of judges.

Red Button Design was founded by Amanda Jones, a Glasgow University Graduate, James Brown and Nicky Pang who are both studying Product Design on a joint course run by Glasgow University and Glasgow School of Art.

The judging panel for the grand final comprised:

Professor Steve Rayner, James Martin Institute for Science and Civilization (Chair)
Rob James, DFJ Esprit
Keith Evans, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Jonathan Guthrie, Financial Times
Wendy Hart, Grant Thornton
Ravi Kapur, NESTA
Antony Ross, Bridges Ventures
Nicholas Pitts-Tucker, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC)
Richard Sanders, Permira

For further details please contact Amanda Jones:

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