Duke of York reveals winning young entrepreneurs of iDEA 2015

Young founders behind Learnerlane, Candle Path and Yoma Education will each receive £15,000 to develop their “future of digital” start-ups

Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, has announced the three winning start-ups of the 2015 inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA) initiative in an official ceremony at St James’ Palace this afternoon.

Created by young entrepreneurs aged 14 to 25, the winners are“Match.com for tutoring” Learnerlane, Yoma Education; an app to help autistic children, and Candle Path; an app which plots the safest route home.

The winning business ideas were selected by a panel of high profile judges including Ian Livingstone MBE, Eileen Burbidge of Passion Capital, and Annika Small of the Nominet Trust, following a pitching event where the 10 finalist teams presented their business models and plans for growth.

Each of the three winners will now receive £15,000 to develop their ideas and will also receive professional support and mentoring from partners such as Microsoft Ventures, Barclays and Facebook.

Launched in March 2014 by the Duke of York and Nominet Trust, iDEA looks to support young people to build skills in the digital and enterprise arenas and this year’s competition had participation from over 700 young people.

The three winners are:

  • Learnerlane: An online platform which helps parents and students to find local tutors which cater for their specific learning requirements
  • Candle Path: App which uses advanced algorithm and open data to protect users from taking unnecssary risks  – it finds the “safest routes” using crime statistics, street lighting and other factors
  • Yoma Education: App which acts as a virtual teaching assistant to support autistic children to learn alongside their peers

Speaking of the finalists at the ceremony, the Duke of York commented: “Before you today are some really remarkable people.

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“Much of what we do in education today is about problem-solving and that’s what these young [entrepreneurs] are doing here. I believe that these young people are the future of what we want to achieve.”

As a general message to anyone considering starting a business, the Duke of York added; “never be afraid to have an idea, or many ideas!”

On its win, 22 year-old Seun Debiyi, co-founder of Learnerlane, commented:

“iDEA has been a fantastic competition – we’ve had great mentors and amazing training along the way. We’re now going to use the funding to get more customers, build out the products and we’re coming to London.”

To find out more about the IDEA competition, click here.


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