Ten 'green' innovators from across Great Britain became one step closer to pursuing their dreams thanks to winning a Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Scholarship.
The competition was open to prospective and current students hoping to pursue a postgraduate degree focused on the development of a business concept that will help to reduce carbon emissions and harmful greenhouse gases.
In partnership with The University of Edinburgh and The Open University, the entrepreneurs pitched their 'green-themed' concepts aimed at tackling climate change head-on at the final held at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation.
The competition is a unique funding opportunity that offers students the chance to win a scholarship of up to £20,000 to cover their postgraduate degree tuition fees for up to three years. Judges heard an array of inspiring and creative ideas leading to all ten finalists being named as winners.
Overall winner Angus McKimmon's concept is to provide smart power solutions in the form of vehicle-to-grid and battery panels. Angus secured himself a place to watch the international competition in Holland later this year. "I'm absolutely overjoyed - and in shock! I'm so pleased to have taken part and can't wait to show the idea to even more of the 'green' community.
"Now I've been given the chance to study a full-time Masters in Business Administration at the University of Edinburgh Business School. My advice to any applicant next year is to just take your time, think everything through and do all your research!"
Annemiek Hoogenboom, Country Director, People's Postcode Lottery, said she was delighted for all the applicants. "I am absolutely thrilled with the ten innovative entrepreneurial ideas presented today. I am happy and pleased that all ten competitors won a scholarship here today at the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge.
"The overwhelming creativity, innovation and passion was outstanding and we wish them all success to progress in transforming their plans into sustainable businesses. The Green Challenge Scholarship opens opportunities for budding students from all over Great Britain to come together, share ideas and inspire each other. Well done to each and every one of you!"
Previous winners include Mairi Claire Bowser, who won in 2014 with her idea to reduce waste within the film production industry. "This whole competition gave me something amazing - a chance to further my education. It opened doors and presented opportunities for me that I didn't think were possible - and showed me a whole new way of learning.
"In today's climate, an opportunity like this one doesn't come by often. I'll be starting my dissertation later in the year to research how different types of communities can better reuse and recycle – I can't wait. I'm so grateful for everything and wish all the finalists here the best of luck."
Finalists were joined on the day by Nike Charalampopoulou, Managing Director at food waste charity Feedback Global, who explained what we can all do to help stop global food waste. Also there was Julie Prebble of Toast Ale – a company that specialises in turning bread otherwise destined for the bin into beer.
Find out more about the Green Challenge Scholarship and the difference it makes at www.postcodeculturetrust.org.uk/scholarship.