It’s the world’s biggest hackathon for young people – welcome to the Young Rewired State ‘Festival of Code’. More than a thousand young entrepreneurs spend a week every summer working together in small teams across the UK and abroad. 66 regional centres at places like BBC, BT and Barclays through to FabLab, Microsoft and Queen Mary at the University of London play host, mentor and champion the start-up stars of the future. The week culminates with everyone showing off their digital business ideas, hoping to attract the attention of investors and the market. It’s a grand finale of gargantuan proportions and this year it took place on the first weekend of August at the ICC in Birmingham.
Our Director of Strategy, Kerensa Jennings was one of the Dragons Den style judges alongside a range of other tech campaigners like the CEO of the International Social Games Association and Facebook alumnus Luc Delany, TechCrunch’s Mike Butcher and star entrepreneur Amelia Humfress.
The standard of the pitches was nothing short of dazzling. Polish and poise from boys and girls as young as seven right through to older teens – and eye catching ideas to make the world a better place. Check out #FoC2015 for the highlights on Twitter and this brilliant summary by @mikebutcher for the winners. Jennings was particularly taken by an oceanography hack ‘Buoy’ and a dangerously addictive new game called ‘Lines’ which could be a Candy Crush challenger.
Watching the business leaders of the future take their first steps in entrepreneurship – from ideation to creation to pitching – was an inspiration for all. Their tenacity and innovation was remarkable in the true sense of the word. These young people are on a mission – and the evidence suggests they are well on their way to realising their dreams. Mighty oaks from little acorns grow – and the maker revolution fostered by amazing not-for-profits like Young Rewired State are helping sow the seeds of our future.