Young Innovators Challenge Weekend

So as mentioned in a previous post, I was invited down to Edinburgh (alongside Sylvester and Stuart) to attend the Young Innovators Challenge Weekend at the John Macintyre Conference Centre at University of Edinburgh. We had been invited after entering the YIC competition a few weeks previous with our honours project ideas and had been selected alongside 150 other participants. It was a fantastic opportunity for us to learn more, progress in the competition and also to network with other people in the industry.

As part of our package we were invited to stay at Masson House on both the Friday before the event and Saturday nights for free alongside meals. Couldn’t really turn it down now could I? Upon arrival at the place we dropped off our bags and went out to find a good pub for a few before an early night on the eve of the event, let’s admit that never happened. Anyway on the morning of the event full fry up and continental breakfast was provided before we had to pop around the corner to the Conference Centre for a 10am start. A brief introduction from Fiona Godsman(CEO of Scottish Institute for Enterprise) and Ann Davidson describing what would be happening across the weekend alongside brief descriptions of the coming workshops.

First up was a keynote speech from David Duke (Founder of Street Soccer) about how his company came about and a quick bit of a background about him. What a story is all I can say. At a young age David was surrounded by poverty and alcoholism through his father who passed while he was a young age, at the age of 21 David found himself homeless and in a very dark place as he described. He found his opportunity when the Homeless World Cup team for Scotland allowed him to join and flew the team to the World Cup event in Sweden and from there his life was changed. I won’t go into detail because if you are reading this, then I greatly urge you to attend a talk by this fascinating character and see for yourself just how much he has achieved. This was certainly a highlight of the weekend as he really is a true inspiration to all and a fantastic individual.

So the bar had been set high at the very beginning following David’s speech. Next up was Ann Davidson who took us through the YIC Manifesto