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Cirencester entrepreneurs to represent Britain at Asia-Pacific business awards

Young British entrepreneurs SoberDrive, who won the Hyundai Skills for the Future Award in 2015, will be at the Asia Pacific Junior Achievement (JA) Company of the Year Competition in Seoul on February 20-25.

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SoberDrive was started as part of the Young Enterprise Company programme at Cirencester College, where the team was able to pitch their product idea of a breathalyser incorporated within a car key to Hyundai head office and develop a prototype. They competed in and won the European Skills for the Future Competition in May 2015, run by JA Europe (Young Enterprise’s parent charity) in partnership with Hyundai Motor Europe.

Three members of the team; Lauren Palmer, Callum Coles and Samuel Roberts will travel with their teacher Hannah Clark and Hyundai UK Mentor Vincenzo Scognamiglio to Seoul, the first time a UK team has been present at the Asia Pacific competition.

Callum said: “We are extremely excited by the prospect of attending the Asia Pacific Final at the end of the month, it is an incredible opportunity for us to build on our previous experiences with the Skills for the Future programme and further develop our ability as young entrepreneurs. Having already grown substantially through the first competition, we are honoured to have this opportunity to showcase our evolution as a business and cannot wait to learn what valuable skills we will gain this time around in South Korea.

“We are proud to have been a part of this competition and know that SoberDrive would not be the success it is today without the help of Hyundai and the Skills for the Future programme.”

Michael Mercieca, chief executive of Young Enterprise UK said: “SoberDrive have demonstrated strong entrepreneurship, creativity and hard work through the development of their product. We are very proud of them as they make the most of this great opportunity to take their expertise and knowledge to the Asia Pacific JA Company of the Year Competition.”

Thomas A. Schmid, Chief Operating Officer at Hyundai Motor Europe, said, “We are committed to supporting Europe’s youth with career and skills development opportunities, and our Skills for the Future programme provides a platform for the next generation of business talents. The young entrepreneurs of SoberDrive have shown that our engagement paves the way for innovation and brilliant inventions. They truly deserve the great honour to be present at the Asia Pacific JA Company of the Year Competition in Seoul.”

The Asia Pacific JA Company of the Year Competition is JA Worldwide’s annual celebration of the achievements of JA Company Programme students in the region.