Bright Ideas Winners 2015

As you may have read in our earlier post, this year’s Bright Ideas competition was a roaring success, and our judges had a hard time choosing winners! After battling it out for a prize throughout the day, our finalists were thrilled to have been rewarded for their hard work, and are excited to start bringing their ideas to life! Here are some of our winners’ stories:

Trevor Kerth – HalfNote

Trevor Kerth accepting his prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David MacKintosh.

Trevor Kerth accepting his prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David MacKintosh.

Having embarked upon an MSc in Advanced Product Design Engineering, Trevor Kerth put his expertise to good use when he created Half Note, an ingenious foldable keyboard that allows for easy and convenient transportation. Trevor was keen to ensure that his idea really did solve a problem, and the judges were impressed! Not only did Trevor win £1000 to develop his idea, but he was also voted the people’s choice by the live audience at the Bright Ideas Final.

Trevor explains: ‘As a keyboardist and pianist myself, my idea for a more travel-friendly keyboard came from my own frustration. Half Note is unique in that it folds in half to become its own protective case and includes a battery, speakers and a collapsible stand to give keyboardists the ability to travel and play anywhere. With the £1000, I plan on prototyping the first version of the Half Note and finding keyboardists to test and review the idea. The Bright Ideas competition has been able to supply the initial funding but more importantly, has given me the motivation and conviction to pursue my idea.’ Follow HalfNote on Twitter for updates on its progress!

Du’a AlSaadi – NGO Establishment in North Sudan

Du'a AlSaadi accepting her prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David MacKintosh.

Du’a AlSaadi accepting her prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David MacKintosh

Du’a W AlSaadi, currently studying for an MBA at Kingston University, was awarded £1000 at Bright Ideas for her passionate desire to help less privileged communities. Inspired by her own experiences, Du’a plans to launch an NGO establishment in North Sudan that will support and empower young girls to fulfil their aspirations.

We caught up with Du’a to hear her intentions: ‘Through the launch of a partnership between schools in North Sudan and Amman-Jordan, the project will enable young girls from both regions to connect using technological tools such as video conferencing. Bright ideas and the prize money will help in promoting workshops to raise awareness of the issue and will be allocating to a market and initial investment budget which is 10 computers, video conference materials, stationary renting halls, etc.’

As Du’a explains, she plans to create a partnership between girls from North Sudan and Jordan, which will allow for the creation of a female focused network of support and encouragement. The end goal is to ‘transform mind-sets within the culture about female empowerment by using basic technology to create a platform of dialogue between girls in both Jordan and Sudan.’

£250 Winners

Joshua Brown – Drain Power Generator

Joshua Brown accepting his prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David MacKintosh.

Joshua Brown accepting his prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David MacKintosh.

Currently studying for an MSc in Aerospace Engineering, Joshua Brown was awarded £250 for his ecological invention, a drain power generator that harnesses energy from wasted water. Joshua’s idea taps into current concerns about the sustainability and environmental impact of products, ingeniously using wasted elements to generate new power.

We asked Joshua about the motivation for his idea: ‘My idea came from a genuine interest in hydroelectric power and ‘green’ energy. After studying power generation, energy capture and storage methods, I was reminded of my experiences of tinkering with plumbing components; I put two and two together and realised that I could combine the two ideas to create an ecological household product that is unique to the market.’

Michael Kerin – Short Stories App

Michael Kerin accepting his prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David MacKintosh.

Michael Kerin accepting his prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David MacKintosh.

As the only finalist from the faculty of arts and social sciences, Michael Kerin, who is currently studying for an MA in Publishing, wowed the judges with his app of short-stories that are written by, read by, and voted on by the public.

Like most of our finalists, Michael’s idea is still in development, although his currently has two potential product names: ‘I wanted writers to post 1500 words a week, so that’s where ‘busbytes’ came from; small amounts of text that you could read on the bus. An alternative would be ‘Bear with me Books’ as I would like to impress on the reader a feeling of being invested in a writer, which would encourage the writer to continue and achieve a possible publishing dream.’

For now, Michael’s main commitment is his MA, and he’s not in any hurry to plan out the future; ‘I tend to say yes to opportunities, so I’m always excited and surprised to see where I end up next.’ However, he intends to slowly begin investigating his app’s immediate competition and the possibility of developing the app independently, which will take care of some of his prize money. As for the left-over cash, he plans to treat himself to ‘a lovely bottle of wine, or three!’

Katie Cudmore – SofaRef

Katie Cudmore accepting her prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David MacKintosh.

Katie Cudmore accepting her prize from Deputy Vice-Chancellor, David MacKintosh.

Katie Cudmore, student of pharmacology and our only solo female finalist, drew upon her own experiences watching frustrated football fans shouting at the television to create SofaRef, an app that allows at-home viewers to vote on the fairness of referees’ decisions.

We asked Katie to share her thoughts with us: ‘My idea is an app where people can judge the decision made by the referee during a football match in order to generate statistics and see whether the ref made the right decision based on mass population opinion. My inspiration came from watching family members shout at the television so I came up with an idea that is not currently on the market. The prize money will go towards the money I am using to develop the idea further through connections with the right people. In 5 years time I hope to have the app developed and have it fully up and running. Bright ideas encouraged me to move forward and develop my idea, without bright ideas my idea would remain an idea. Because of the competition I am looking forward to move forward with it and following it through.’

Congratulations to all of our brilliant winners! We can’t wait to see how far you go with your ideas, and we look forward to raving about your success throughout the year! If you want to read about another of our winners’ stories, check out our spotlight on BeeBra, one of the £1000 ideas.

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