Young innovators take idea to the top

Apps for Good 2 webTHREE Priestley students visited Facebook’s London HQ and met industry experts during a trip to the city.

Elliot McKenzie, Dylan Waters and Elliot Grey made it through to the finals of the Apps for Good competition with their concept Sweg Messenger.

During their time in London they were guided around Facebook’s office and saw its staff sleeping pods, sweet shop and talked to staff.

They also visited the offices of Unruly, the leading global platform for social video marketing.

The main purpose of their visit, though, was to present their idea for an app to the judges in a competition designed to celebrate the next generation of problem solvers and digital creators.

They also pitched their idea for more than an hour to countless industry figures, which was a highlight of the trip for former Lymm High pupil Elliot Grey.

“We made the pitch to about 250 people from the industry so it was a pretty fantastic experience,” he said.

“All these people seemed interested in our app and liked our presentation skills.”

The Apps for Good judges were leading names from TalkTalk, Ogilvyone and another who had helped develop Spotify.

Priestley ICT tutor Tom Heaton said: “You couldn’t buy this exposure. The Apps for Good course has encouraged our students to explore technology as a tool for improving and benefitting society as a whole.

“The course enables us to bring a creative learning programme to college that unlocks the confidence and talents of our students.”

Although they didn’t win the competition, which was staged at the Barbican in London, the Priestley team received genuine interest from several app developers and some sound advice.

Sweg Messenger was shortlisted in the Connected Communities Category and is designed to provide a unique and fun way to chat with friends.

Elliot McKenzie, a former Birchwood High pupil who studies IT and the Extended Project at Priestley, said: “We’ve loved the chance to take part in the Apps for Good because it has allowed us to develop not only our computing skills, but job skills such as teamwork, problem solving and independence.”

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