Innovative digital ideas are characterising our generation. We're in a time when friends can get together with a simple idea, and create something as universal & impressive as Facebook.
Young people today have grown up in the digital age, and are in a better position than ever before to take control of their future and drive Britain's economy forward. But despite the fact that 55% of young people want to set up their own business, in reality just 14% are doing something about it. Figures based on a 2013 Populus survey for UnLtd.
Digital technology is various and exciting, and provides us with near limitless possibility. Really, this means that it's never been easier to take our big ideas, and turn them into reality. The digital space is filled with inspiration, but turning this into something real for the future is where it gets a little trickier.
That’s why HRH The Duke of York and Nominet Trust have created the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award, IDEA, an award scheme for 16-25 year olds with a flair for all things digital and an entrepreneurial spirit.
Over the next five years, the scheme wants to support more than one million young people to pursue their own ideas, develop their digital skills and get to grips with the reality of business.
iDEA will support young people in developing a digital business, enabling you to build prototypes and test the viability of your business idea with real customers. There are three stages to the iDEA Award and at the end of each stage you will receive industry-recognised badges that reward the entrepreneurial skills and competencies you have developed.
Stage 1: Discovery
At this point, we'll give 1000 entrants the chance to take
home a Discovery badge. You’ll need to demonstrate your digital skills and apply
them to tell us why your idea is important, describing why it could be a valuable
Stage 2: Beta
To earn a Beta badge, 100 teams will be formed and young people will need to work together to test, refine and enhance their chosen business idea taking it from concept to prototype.
Stage 3: Live
The 20 projects with the most promise will go forward to earn their Live badge. Each team will be given £5,000 to turn their prototypes into a real-life product to send out into the world.
And finally, the 20 Live teams will pitch their business idea to an expert panel of judges in October 2014. This will give them the chance to be one of three winners, each awarded £15,000, to further develop their idea into a successful digital business start-up. We want to hear from you now, but we only have limited places this year.
Young people taking part in the programme share their digital-led business ideas with The Duke of York at July's Digital Revolution exhibition.
“It is an honour to join the Duke of York, Nominet Trust and fellow Steering Committee members to provide support and encouragement to young people across the UK. Today, digital skills incorporating computing, coding and marketing are a baseline requirement to succeed in almost every career path. Whether a young person aspires to be a fashion designer, a doctor, a solar engineer, or a musician, digital and entrepreneurial skills are essential to success.” - will.i.am
“iDEA is exactly the type of scheme that could have helped me as a teenager. I hope it can inspire and embolden a new generation of British tech entrepreneurs, and I am delighted to be supporting The Duke of York in it." – Michael Acton-Smith, founder of Mind Candy
"Through working on Impossible.com for the last few years, I have really come to recognise the value of digital entrepreneurship, and the possibilities that digital literacy could open up for both young people with big ideas, but also for the wider community through the effects of those ideas when realised. I've also seen how challenging the process of entrepreneurship can be, and so I recognise how valuable support systems are for fostering creativity in this space. I'm thereby very happy to support iDEA, which is seeking to encourage and develop young people who are interested in digital entrepreneurship." – Lily Cole, model and entrepreneur
“You don’t have to look far to see how popular programming is becoming with young people around the world. Anyone with an Internet connection and a microprocessor can teach themselves the necessary skills and technique. But it’s not just learning how to code that matters. What young people need above all is the support and advice that can get them into the mindset of becoming an entrepreneur. That’s what doesn’t get widely taught. And it’s why The Duke of York’s iDEA scheme is so important: it is about not just how to do things but what you can do with them. It can inspire young people to fulfill their potential and create the businesses of the future.”
– Nick D’Aloisio, founder of Summly
We are working with great partners across the country who will help focus your business idea and give you the support you need to make it a reality. We're working in partnership with Digital Me to create the digital Open Badges that will recognise the achievements you gain through the iDEA Award.
During the pilot, the award will be delivered through one of the following organisations.