Young Gloucestershire entrepreneurs secure place at European finals
Team from Cirencester Sixth Form College crowned winners at the Hyundai and Young Enterprise Skills for the Future UK Final, which promotes STEM skills to young people
SoberDrive, from Cirencester Sixth Form College, beat four other teams from across the UK to be crowned champions at the national final, held at the Hyundai Training Academy in High Wycombe.
SoberDrive is a socially responsible business helping to reduce the number of drink driving related incidences.
Their product is a breathalyser incorporated within a car key; the results of which determine whether or not the ignition can be started. The group want to promote safe and responsible drinking, and the breathalyser allows users to make an informed decision on their suitability to drive.
The group said of their product: “We aim to reduce the level of drink driving in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, ultimately saving lives.”
SoberDrive has won a place at the Skills for the Future European Final in Prague, between the 8th and 10th June. The team also received a trophy and an Amazon Kindle for each team member, provided by Hyundai.
SoberDrive beat off four other teams:
Accelerate; St John Fisher Catholic High School, North Yorkshire
Essentials; Highcrest Academy, High Wycombe
Creative Car Journeys; John Colet School, Buckinghamshire
K.E.O.B.; Holmer Green Senior School, Buckinghamshire
The judges at the event were:
Andrew Cullis, Marketing Director, Hyundai UK
Tony Whitehorn, President and CEO, Hyundai UK
Kenny Hwang, Chief Executive Coordinator, Hyundai UK
Philip Perera and Omar Farag, founders of Phom Tea and Young Enterprise Start Up alumni. Philip and Omar won the Hyundai Brilliant Young Entrepreneur Award in 2013.
Tony Whitehorn said: “I was so impressed with the quality of the young students. They were actually producing products from nothing, and they’ve been taking it to market.
“They probably had about three or four minutes each where they had to sell their products to us, and without exception, every single one of those individuals did a great job.”
George Kershaw-Houghton, MD of SoberDrive, said: “Obviously it’s fantastic winning the competition. We’ve put so much time and effort into it and coming in first place feels amazing.
“I would highly recommend Skills for the Future. It’s boosted everyone on my team’s confidence and we’ve all got a better understanding of business. We all think that we can progress in a proper business environment as a result of this.”
The Hyundai Skills for the Future programme is a partnership between Junior Achievement (JA) Europe (which Young Enterprise UK is a part of) and Hyundai, aimed at promoting a greater understanding among young people of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills, entrepreneurship and skills to improve their future employability.
During the three-year initiative, 10,000 young people aged between 15 and 18 in 15 countries across Europe will have the opportunity to try their hand at enterprise, learn valuable STEM skills and apply their knowledge in new ways.
Supported by teachers, they work with Hyundai business volunteers from across Europe. Over 400 Hyundai employees will volunteer during the three years.