Monday, 22 December 2008

The Earth Awards Want Us! ... In New York!

I have just received confirmation that we're one of 10 finalists in The Earth Awards.

The Earth Awards launched as "a global search for future-crucial design solutions that will improve our collective social, cultural, economic and ecological quality of life."

This is an incredibly significant award and I can't quite believe the opportunity it presents:
"All finalists will be flown to New York City for an Awards Ceremony Gala on January 12th, 2009, where the first prize winner will be announced. The winner will receive a monetary prize, and all finalists will receive the opportunity to pitch their ideas to industry leaders including venture capitalists, industrialists, and Fortune 500 business leaders."


More info:
The Awards
The Judges

Friday, 19 December 2008

Doug Richard's "School for Start Ups"

If mass media hasn't taken the opportunity to remind you yet today, let me.
We are in the grips of economic disaster.
Shops are closing, jobs vanishing, bankruptcy is stalking us all and they tell us no sector is safe. With newspaper headlines reading more like the tag lines from an (admittedly very boring) US disaster movie by the day, anyone who knows anything about the economic climate is being dragged onto talk shows, begged to fill newspaper columns and guesting on local radio question time.

Understanding economics has never been so sexy.

And yet, lets face it, it still ... isn't.

This makes it all the more significant that James and I both dragged our flu-ravaged selves, pockets stuffed with Lemsip sachets, out into the freezing rain and it into town for 8:30am and knowingly and willingly spent the whole day learning about 'Entrepreneurial Economics'.

Run by former BBC2 Dragon, Doug Richard, we think getting yourself a place at a School for Start Ups event is a is a must-do for all young companies and aspiring entrepreneurs. Doug has stood in the shoes of both investor and investee, and by his own admission has had great successes and failures in both. He is also a professional speaker (incidentally he had also been the guest speaker at the previous night's John Logie Baird Awards*) and it shows in the ease with which he expresses complex ideas, throws in snippets of his vast personal experience and completely charms the audience

It was useful, engaging and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

So go here and sign up to attend, it may well be available free of change (depending on your situation). If there isn't one local to you - travel to it. Especially if you're not paying to attend. Make the effort to go, you (and the crumbling economy) will be glad you did.

* and quite frankly saved the show, but that's another story!

Thursday, 18 December 2008

John Logie Baird “Young Innovators” Award 2008

Red Button Design narrowly missed out on the top spot of the John Logie Baird “Young Innovators” Award 2008, receiving a second place commendation after making it into the final 5 from over 350 businesses.

Isabell Majewsky, chief executive of organisers GO Group, said: “The Awards aim to identify innovators as well as discovering the next generation of John Logie Bairds. We can then give them the help and support they need to bring their products to market.”

John Logie Baird, of course, dedicated most of his adult life to creating the television and the awards in his name were presented to the most innovative projects with the best prospects of commercial success. Fraser Docherty of SuperJam fame scooped the first place prize demonstrating his prospects of commercial success by already having his innovative 'no added sugar' Jam stocked in Waitrose, Morrisons and Tesco!

John Logie Baird Awards

Monday, 8 December 2008

In a credit crunch, can you afford not to know?

Every academic year, over 120,000 of the brightest students in the UK take part in some form of work placement. Infact many students are now opting for degree courses which allow them to spend their third year in employment. In an insecure economic climate graduates are looking to work experience to differentiate themselves from the pack.

But as a student how can you tell a placement that will inspire you and develop key industry skills, from a placement that will just refine your tea and coffee making abilities?

As an employer how can you tell if you're providing the best experience possible to these bright, enthusiastic potential-employees?

That's where Rate My Placement come in. is the UK’s leading website dedicated to work placements and internships. The website contains over 1,000 student written reviews covering their experiences in work placements and internships. Students are required to rate and review their employer over 15 questions on their role, the company and other aspects including outside of work opportunities and activities.

For my part, James and I met the fantastic RMP team during the finals of the HSBC Unipreneurs Competition. back in the spring. The four guys behind the website are recent graduates themselves and originally created the site for the benefit of their friends and coursemates at Loughborough University. But like the ledgend that is Facebook, they took the opportunity to make the site available to all.

So if you're considering a placement, (and why wouldn't you given all the benefits?) get yourself over to Rate My and find out which companies can offer you the most in return for your time.