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Claydon High students’ winning planner app could be sold to Suffolk schools

PUBLISHED: 09:15 29 October 2014

Claydon entrepreneur event  at Claydon High School
 - winning team Mi.e.p.a

Claydon entrepreneur event at Claydon High School - winning team Mi.e.p.a

An enterprising group of young students has invented an app which before long could become a business used in schools all over Suffolk and further afield”.

Claydon entrepreneur event  at Claydon High School
 - Winning team Mi.e.p.a Claydon entrepreneur event at Claydon High School - Winning team Mi.e.p.a

The winners of the extraordinary Claydon High School Enterprise Challenge Cup, a 12-strong team of 12, 13 and 14-year-old pupils, has already received approaches to take up its app which allows parents, teachers and pupils better organise their lives through their mobile ‘phones.

Among the interested groups is the Ipswich Academy and several others including local businessmen.

A total of 35 teams of 12 took part in the challenge event which invited the youngsters to form teams which would create, research, develop, market and sell their business ideas. After three days of intense work and planning each team then presented their business plans to a panel of judges in an intense, high pressure and highly competitive environment.

Headteacher at Claydon, Sarah Skinner, who created the event, said: “I am so proud of all of the teams. The winning presentation was fantastic and I am already getting interest from outside parties interested in taking it up.

Claydon entrepreneur event  at Claydon High School - 
Finalists present their ideas to the judges Claydon entrepreneur event at Claydon High School - Finalists present their ideas to the judges

“But every team spent three days doing something unfamiliar, testing and ultimately enormously pressured. One of my greatest ambitions at this school is to use the education to develop employability in the youngsters and this shows how eagerly and how well they can take up this challenge when invited to do so.”

Chairman of the Trustees Keith Richardson, who has worked mentoring start-up companies all over the East of England, said: “This was absolutely amazing. Lots of great ideas and lots of very talented and entrepreneurial youngsters. If I was recruiting I would have filled some jobs right now.”

The Mi.e.p.a Educational Planner app invented by the youngsters allows students, parents and teachers to do a whole range of things on their phones. Reminders pop up to tell pupils when the homework is due, show their timetables, see notes from teachers, order meals at school, reserve library books and much more.

Parents can use them to check on their youngsters’ homework, what they are doing the next day and can download, securely, money to pay for meals and other things.

Claydon entrepreneur event  at Claydon High School
 - Judges Tony Loynes, Steve Flory and Rachael Jackson Claydon entrepreneur event at Claydon High School - Judges Tony Loynes, Steve Flory and Rachael Jackson

Said one teacher: “It has great qualities and it will be good to be able to track the student’s progress and homework”.

Full report on the event and many other great ideas from the Enterprise Challenge on page.

What did the teams come up with?

There was a moment, and you could see it in their eyes, when the challenge they were about to face became real.

Teams of 12,13 and 14 year old students brainstormed and researched their ideas for the Claydon Enterprise Challenge. They then developed product plans, marketing plans, customer service plans and tested their idea against the competition. It was a rigorous three day process during which they were required to behave like seasoned business people.

But nothing compares with the moment that they stepped up in front of 400 other students and local business leaders to present their ideas. Suddenly it was real.

Some heads went up, some chests thrust out, some shook hands confidently with the judges but all knew this was the key moment. Headteacher Sarah Skinner, who created the event couldn’t have been more proud.

“We are gearing them up for when they go to work and today they experienced something enormous, and they came through it fantastically well.”

Each team had 12 members including a captain, a coach, sales, marketing, product, IT and commercial members. Their responsibilities were clearly defined by Mrs Skinner’s briefing and they knew that to win they would have to present on each key business subject.

The score sheets noted the quality of the presentation for: innovative idea, customer focus, teamwork, quality of approach and presentation. Just what you would expect from a project team of experienced business people.

Mi e.p.a ( My educational planner app)

The winning app is already destined to be a feature in schools all over Suffolk and possibly elsewhere.

It impressed the judges enormously because it was highly practical and effective to use for three target groups – teachers, students and parents.

Said Brandon, the team coach, who project co-ordinated his team’s work: “It’s an app for students and easier to use than a planner. Mi e.p.a can be used to check your school timetable, your homework, your lessons, schools news and for ordering school meals and much more.”

Delivered on a mobile phone it suddenly becomes the app which not just students but teachers and parents can use to monitor students progress, see what their timetable is like for the next day, download money securely to pay for meals and more. Teachers can check if homework has been done, can put homework in if a student has been ill and can have an email exchange if students have a problem.

In all it is a three way, beneficial and effective app which resolves all timetable issues and many more.

Tap It

This team called itself Age Affinity because its core aim was to improve the relationship between young and old by focussing volunteer effort on the Barham Care Home.

Operating under the slogan Buddy Up Today they stressed the benefits to young and old from the scheme which they dubbed Tap It.

For the elderly the benefits would be swift. Each would be given a special silicon band with a button. One press and a message would be sent to their chosen buddy on the website and the buddy would then visit.

Said team captain Courtenay: “There is some alienation in the community between teenagers and elders and our proposal aims to bring them together by offering help and support to the care home.”

MUC – the case for you and me

The Pink Flamingo team created a waterproof mobile phone case with a built in speaker and charger.

“The competition is ugly, big and expensive,” said captain Summer, “and we have tested the idea on Apple, Amazon and eBay and we think we were better and cheaper.”

“Ninety per cent of the potential customers we spoke to said they would all love something which allows them to charge their ‘phone while out and about and play music wherever they go without having to carry a bulky object.”

A series of tough questions followed the presentation and each question was passed to the appropriate team member, who dealt with it effectively.

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