14 year-old schoolgirl wins £3,000 grant for hair dye simulation app

Glasgow student Demi McIntee awarded first prize at 2014 ‘Bad Idea’ youth enterprise competition

14-year old young entrepreneur Demi McIntee has been announced as the winner of Glasgow youth enterprise competition Bad Idea, awarded a £3,000 grant for her “innovative” hair dye app.

McIntee, a student at St Andrews secondary school in Glasgow, beat over 500 entrants for her smartphone and tablet app idea which allows users to photograph themselves and gage how they would look before having their hair dyed.

Sponsored by equity and loan-based crowdfunding site Squareknot, Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Kelvin College, the Bad Idea competition intends to help “transform raw, untested ideas of budding entrepreneurs into real businesses” and take them to market.

A shortlist of 40 business proposals were initially chosen to seek further development funding on Squareknot with the “best five ideas” then selected by business experts, with the overall winners unveiled at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre last night.

First prize awardee McIntee will receive £3,000 to conduct further market research and expand her design expertise to “commercialise the product”, and will also receive mentoring support from local businesses and organisations.

Second prize was granted to 14-year old Shelby Johnston (far right) with her idea for manufacturing heatable socks which would look to prevent the “31,000 deaths in the UK caused by cold feet”.

Bad Idea competition founder, Anthony Gerrard, commented: “We are already looking at the next steps for winners and even non-prize winners who are driven to continue their ideas.

“This is a radical intervention model to inspire entrepreneurial activity and we want the next stage to be a positive step forward for promising new ideas.”

Discussing how her app business will operate, McIntee, said:

“This app will offer you easy choices of the colours available to dye your hair. It will solve a lot of problems caused by current methods which only allow you to judge dyes in a bottle or on a colour card.

“It will automatically recognise your hair and show you a realistic representation of how it would look after being dyed.”

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