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Young Scots to go head to head in front of investors at Venturefest

Three teams of innovative young Scots are getting ready to do battle when they pitch their creative ideas to tackle to global problem of air pollution in some of the country's leading innovators, entrepreneurs and investors at Venturefest Scotland - Scotland's annual innovation event - tomorrow, 1 September.

The teams, known as Futuristic 5, Ninions and Project Airtech, were the winning trio at VentureJam 2016, the official youth strand for Venturefest, which took place on 5-7 August at Glasgow Science Centre and was delivered by Young Scot, Glasgow City of Science and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

The innovative hackathon-style event saw teams of young people aged 14-20 years design and develop innovative new ideas to help improve Scotland's air quality, whilst driving home the message that we all have a part to play in achieving this goal. The innovative ideas that the teams came up with included a photosynthesis bicycle, a fan that filters air and a map-based app that shows you 'clean air' routes around the city. Reward schemes promoting positive choices for creating more sustainable lifestyles featured heavily in the ideas generated by several of the young teams.

Throughout VentureJam, the would-be entrepreneurs were supported by a team on mentors made up of engineers, creatives and technologists as well as legal and environmental experts.

The three winning teams are now getting ready to pitch their ideas from the Jam weekend, Dragon's Den-style, to top innovation experts at Venturefest Scotland in the hope of persuading them to back their concepts.

The winning team will receive an investment from Social Investment Scotland (SIS), and all three finalists will benefit from a session with an SIS investment manager to help them realise their ideas.

The youngsters' pitches will form part of the Pitchfest! stream of Venturefest, where delegates will have the opportunity to learn how to pitch, find out why pitching matters, learn how to use pitching as a means to find ideas and solve a problem and see how others pitch to funders and what those funders might want to know.

The build excitement ahead of the VentureJam youth pitch, and to raise awareness of the importance of taking positive action to tackle air pollution, a projected animation by Double Take Projections was beamed onto the Glasgow City Chambers, the Clyde Auditorium and Cineworld IMAX at Glasgow Science Centre on the evening of Tuesday 30 August.

"VentureJam 2016 brought together young people from a wide range of backgrounds (from music and the arts to gaming and the environment) to come up with radical new ideas to improve the air we breathe. The young people were guided by leading figures from the world of television, gaming, product design and 3D animation. It was an inspirational weekend and I can't wait to see the teams in action at Venturefest. If VentureJam reflects the future of innovation in Scotland, then the future is bright."

Dr Susie Mitchell, Programme Director, Glasgow City of Science


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