Young Innovators Next Steps
The Young Innovators Next Steps Awards recognise trailblazing young entrepreneurs, accelerating their business growth to deliver even bigger impact.
About the Next Steps Awards
The 17 winners of the Young Innovators Next Steps Awards previously received Young Innovators Awards for their innovative business ideas and have gone on to demonstrate their remarkable potential. After winning their first Innovate UK award, they have secured further funding from investors, launched products and expanded their teams. They’ve also been recognised with prestigious industry awards and have showcased their work to large audiences within their sectors.
With a focus on helping young people from all parts of the country take their innovations to the next level, the Young Innovators Next Steps Awards provide these innovators with an additional £50,000 in funding plus tailored business support to help them continue their incredible progress and fuel their growth plans.
This year’s Award winners include:
- Anthony Camu, Theia Robotics: Theia is a handheld orientation and mobility device for people with visual impairments, which Anthony describes as “the guide dog that fits in your pocket”.
- Alex Newnes, PlantSea: PlantSea aims to provide a cost-effective and sustainable alternative to single-use plastics. Alex’s first innovation wraps personal care products like shampoo in a biodegradable material that can dissolve in water.
- Amelia Seifalian, NanoRegMed: Amelia is creating a new implant made from a graphene-based nanocomposite to treat pelvic organ prolapse, after the existing treatment was banned over safety concerns.
- Thomas Constant, The Bug Factory: Thomas has developed mealworm-growing pods for people’s homes, which harness insect power to recycle food waste and convert it into pet food and plant fertiliser.
Reducing the reliance on single-use plastics with soluble packaging
Developing video games to teach STEM and tackle skills shortages
Developing a novel nanocomposite to treat pelvic organ prolapse
Improving the efficiency of clothing manufacturing for a zero-waste future
"To see so many young innovators fizzing with ground-breaking ideas – from reducing food and clothing waste to supporting the blind – is testament to the dynamic spirit of our country. I have no doubt they will inspire the rest of their generation and those that follow. This Government will always back enterprise and I’m delighted this funding can help the winners to reap the rewards of their creativity, while growing our economy and improving lives through innovation."
— Chloe Smith, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
"Innovate UK is committed to inspiring and supporting the next generation of innovators, as they will play a critical role in the UK’s future economy. The team congratulates the Young Innovators Next Step award winners and looks forward to seeing their businesses develop further."
— Indro Mukerjee, Chief Executive Officer at Innovate UK
"These young people have managed to turn their brilliant ideas for innovation into successful businesses. Our young innovators have worked tirelessly to realise their ambitions and Innovate UK is proud to have helped them on this journey. Their disruptive innovations will have significant social and economic impacts and I hope that their stories will help many more young people to see that a future career in innovation could be for them."
— Emily Nott, Head of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Programmes at Innovate UK
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