Over the last few months CollaboJam as been working with Sherry Coute and her team at Silicon Valley comes to the UK (SVC2UK) to develop opportunities for students who are interested in designing and building apps to get a leg up. We have been very lucky to be able to work with both universities in Sheffield to get this programme off the ground – John Kirby at Sheffield Hallam and Sara Platt and her team at the University of Sheffield have been great partners in the local programme. Our good friends at The GIST Foundation helped us to pool a fantastic group of experienced mentors and data specialists to support the students in their endeavours.
SVC2UK was conceived by Sherry as a way to profile the talent of the UK to Silicon Valley investors and to promote the opportunity of building businesses around app development to the UK student population.
Part 1 of the programme involved hosting an Appathon where student teams had to opportunity to develop ideas using government data sets and supported by platform owners such as Microsoft, Facebook and Nokia. We have talked about the Appathon day on the 8/9 October hosted by Sheffield Hallam on this blog. All of the teams from this event were encouraged to submit their apps to the national SVC2UK competition for a chance to win a trip to Silicon Valley and meet David Cameron.
We want to give a big thank you to Sheffield Doc/Fest who provided Solar Helper – the local winning team – with tickets to the festival and digital conference on the 13-17 June 2012. And a second big thank you to our friends at Codeworks for providing tickets to Design and Build It for the second place team Safe Trip.
Three teams from the Sheffield Appathon made the long list in the nation competition, Solar Helper, Safe Trip and Uni4Me. We are delighted that Safe Trip made the final 8 and the whole team made the trip to London last Wednesday to meet David Cameron at Number 10.
Following all this excitement we got down to the Business of Apps at the University of Sheffield on Friday 18 November where the student teams and other had a chance to attend master classes run by experienced app developers. We were also Skyped in Joel Gascoigne from Buffer to talk to about his experience of achieving paying customers in 7 weeks.
Given the success of these events and the enthusiasm for this subject – not just from students but also local businesses we are looking to develop a programme of hack days and master classes as part of the Collaboration Centre Network programme. We will do this with Sheffield Hallam and Sheffield University and will also hope to partner with Huddersfield as well.
Below I have added some links to the media coverage the SVC2UK national programme and the details of the three short listed teams.
3 local teams were shortlisted for the national competition:
Solar Saver: Jonathan Booker, Michael Wain and Ste Prescott, Sheffield Hallam University and Runming Du, University of Sheffield
Safe Trip: Steven Briscoe, Sheffield Hallam University and Mark Dessain, Sam Oakley and Luke Stringer , University of Sheffield
Uni4Me: Madhusudhana Rao Kavilikatta and Khai Cheng from University of Sheffield
Safe Trip was selected as one of 8 winning teams to meet David Cameron on the 16 November 2011. Below is the press coverage.
Regional Coverage of Safe Trip Team:
23 Nov 2011 The Star Cameron Praises App Designers
18 Nov BBC Radio Sheffield Drive Time – Interview with Safe Trip Team at 0:49:30 minutes
17 Nov 2011 Postcode Gazette PM congratulates Sheffield students on Phone App
National News Coverage of Appathon winners:
20 Nov 2011Sky NewsStudent Entrepreneurs Shouldn’t Fear Failure
17 Nov 2011BBC NewsStudents recognised for winning mobile phone apps
17 Nov 2011The TelegraphEnd of the ministerial Red Box in Cabinet high-tech drive
16 Nov 2011Press AssociationCabinet urged to embrace technology
16 Nov 2011Sky NewsEntrepreneurs ‘Could Spark UK Job Growth’
16 Nov 2011Computer WeeklyStudents win government open data competition
16 Nov 2011 Cabinet-Office Silicon Valley comes to Downing Street
16 Nov 2011 Cabinet Office flickr Cabinet Office’s photostream
16 Nov 2011 guardian.co.uk Silicon Valley comes to the UK: which apps won the Appathon?