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Young inventors receive £5K boost for their business ideas

Ben Keeble – one of the 94 award winners with his mobile seat raiser

YOUNG inventors from all over the country received a £5K boost for their “life-changing” projects.

The 94 winners of this year’s Young Innovators’ Awards will also get one-on-one business coaching.

The Young Innovators Awards recognise young people with great business ideas who have the potential to become successful entrepreneurs and future leaders in innovation. In addition to the awards, Innovate UK delivers workshops and briefing events to provide practical business advice to a network of over 12,500 young people across the UK.

Emily Nott, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Programmes at Innovate UK said: “The level of creativity, passion, and commitment to positive change within our society and environment in this year’s Young Innovators Award winners is beyond inspiring.”

Here are some of the award winners . . .

The portable mobile seat raiser helping to combat mobility issues:

When Ben Keeble received a Witty Scholarship in Entrepreneurship, it catalysed his passion for combining innovation and business.

Ben’s business, Mobiliaid, is based on his grandfather’s experiences. Meeting people became increasingly difficult for his grandfather when he started to struggle with sitting and standing. As a result, he wasn’t able to socialise, which led to loneliness, isolation and a deterioration in his physical and mental health.

Mobiliaid allows a person with mobility issues to sit and stand from seats when they are out and about. The product can fit on any chair, is quick to set up and is easily transported.

After developing a proof of concept, Ben’s product is now going through the final stage of prototyping.

He said: “I have spent a lot of time working to develop the product and ensure funding is in place for the early stages. However, now is the time I need to fully understand how to get the product manufactured and to market.”

Developing medical innovations for diabetic foot ulcers:

Growing up in The Wirral, Sagar Jadeja studied to become a dentist before realising his real passion was in healthcare. He then started Medical Intelligence Group, which focuses on driving disease prevention over treatment.

The company’s first innovation is a remote monitor for people who suffer from diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). Sagar has developed a working prototype to help measure an ulcer and has a clinical trial planned.

He said: “The issue with these ulcers is the detrimental impact to quality of life and that there’s a risk of death. Like a lot of people, I came to learn about these ulcers from a family member who developed a DFU. I learnt that there is a significant lack of resources in the NHS to manage this patient group and how such a monitor could help.”

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Creating a low-cost, multi-line braille display to improve braille literacy worldwide:

Bioengineering graduate Gregory Hargraves had his business idea after the Kilimanjaro Blind Trust approached him with a problem.

While audio options have improved access for the blind, braille is still crucial for spelling, grammar, punctuation and maths, as well as for learning non-phonetic languages like English. However, most existing braille displays are limited to a single line of text and are incredibly expensive.

Gregory started Paige Braille to create a product that would enable affordable access to braille and transform braille literacy worldwide.

The company is creating a multi-line braille display, which uses novel design to drastically reduce the cost per character. This enables Paige Braille to create ten lines, each with 20 characters of braille, which can be used for reading, writing or maths.

Gregory said: “We have a strong engineering background as a team, but the business support and advice offered by the Young Innovators Award is going to be invaluable to us.”

Bringing resources and support for amputees into the digital age:

When Lydia Carrick’s dad lost his leg in a motorbike accident, her family was shocked by the lack of support for new amputees.

Lydia remembers little guidance being available from the NHS about returning home and managing mental health. “We faced the unknown completely alone,” she said.

It sparked the idea for Apputee, a phone-based app that allows amputees to discover online resources, services and communities tailored to their recovery. With 12 years of marketing experience under her belt, Lydia plans to tap into her expertise to highlight the resources available and raise awareness of amputation-related disabilities.


Inventing body-powered prosthetics that don’t need electronics:

Fergal Mackie was always interested in making things. That’s why he decided to study mechanical engineering, then product design engineering – to fulfil his passion for building things.

It was when Fergal fell over, breaking both of his wrists, that his interest for hand prosthetics was ignited. Rendered essentially handless for the summer before his final year at university, he quickly had to discover innovative ways to complete his daily tasks.

Fergal set out to invent a fully body-powered prosthetic hand with his business, Metacarpal. He built the first prototype from his bedroom and has big dreams for the company.

He said: “I want Metacarpal to completely change the upper-limb prosthetics industry by setting a new standard of products that competitors are chasing to catch up with. I then want to find a way to distribute this technology where it is needed most – in developing countries and war zones.”

A digital platform that improves musculoskeletal rehabilitation:

Anna Wilson trained and qualified as a veterinary surgeon, before discovering her real passion: technology and innovation in healthcare.

As an elite amateur athlete and member of England’s touch rugby team, Anna has first-hand experience of musculoskeletal injuries. She had her first injury ten years ago and has had a string of injuries since, which have negatively impacted her physical and mental health.

She’s now started Tortoise, an app that empowers people with musculoskeletal injuries to recover and meet their activity goals. The app is currently in the concept phase, but Anna is excited to turn it into a reality.

She said: “When you have physiotherapy, the rehab you do at home is critical to your recovery. However, it’s difficult to fully comply with the best practice rehab program and stay positive whilst recovering. My goal is to empower and support people on this journey, helping them to do the right things at home, recover quickly and stay positive.”


Helping those with limited dexterity to engage with technology:

Zhey Grudov was forced to resign from his job in IT consulting when he began to experience severe pain in hands.

He tried a range of treatment and assistive devices, but couldn’t find a way to use his computer painlessly. As a result, he created Feathertail, which allows those with limited dexterity to interact with technology without issues.

Feathertail is a wearable ergonomic mouse that fits around a wrist, shoe or headset. The customisable, easy-to-use device is currently in the working prototype stage and being refined before launch.

He said: “My long-term ambition is to continue to develop affordable and effective products for people from marginalised communities. For a long time, I felt trapped by my injury – I want to help as many people as I can so they don’t find themselves in that situation.”

Removing the taboo around male fertility with mail-in sperm test kits:

North Carolina-born Lily Elsner worked in healthcare, law and biotechnology before a friend approached her with a research idea – male fertility.

She found that the UK is facing a looming fertility crisis. Sperm counts have declined by around 50% since 1980 and over a third of infertility is exclusively caused by the male factor. Yet male fertility remains a taboo topic and there is no at-home, lab-quality test available.

Lily’s business, Jack Fertility, is developing a mail-in sperm test kit that offers lab-grade semen analysis.

She said: “We’ve seen friends and family experience heart-breaking infertility issues in line with the alarming research statistics on global fertility. Being part of the solution in preventing the excruciating pain of infertility and frustration around conception speed motivates and inspires us.”


  • If you’re an inspiring young innovator, check out how Innovate UK could support you here























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