The 25-year-old inventor of a machine learning tool to help brands uncover future ideas has been named as the UK’s most promising young technology entrepreneur by the Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Hub.

Nick Schweitzer, founder of Klydo, has received the JC Gammon Award, which provides £15,000 of funding and membership of the Enterprise Hub, as the winner of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Launchpad Competition – a nationwide search for the UK’s greatest entrepreneurs in the engineering and technology sector, between the ages of 19 and 25.

Up to 90% of attempted innovation in business fails. Nick aims to change this by creating a web tracking and machine learning technology that offers novel solutions to business problems, using the internet as its source of inspiration. It identifies what the future of an industry should be, helping business innovation succeed where it currently fails.

The current methods used by agencies to identify client problems and solutions – ranging from desk research to face-to-face interviews – are often slow and, if carried out incorrectly, prone to error. Nick’s technology brings creative intelligence to bear on these processes, establishing a new way to bring about positive change through the recombination of existing business intelligence and best practice.

Nick was chosen as the winner at the annual Launchpad Competition final in London last night, by a panel of judges comprised of the UK’s most successful engineering and technology business leaders. A separate People’s Choice Award was presented following an audience vote and online voting in the run up to the event. It was won by Brittany Harris for her technology Qualis Flow, a remote sensing and data management tool to help users to manage their resources more sustainably. Brittany will now receive £1,000 as well as membership of the Enterprise Hub.

Membership of the Enterprise Hub provides access to mentoring from the Academy’s prestigious Fellowship, and training and network opportunities to help entrepreneurs build the skills and contacts crucial to success. It also gives access to the Taylor Centre, a professional space for Hub Members and their Mentors to develop their ideas, meet investors, and take their work to the next stage.

David Gammon, CEO of Rockspring and a benefactor of the JC Gammon Award, said: “Every year, I am bowled over by the talent and ideas we see in the Launchpad Competition; they have the power to genuinely change the world, promising both social and economic impact. The package of support provided by the JC Gammon award and Enterprise Hub is designed to help fast-track these entrepreneurs, and help them get their innovations to market quicker. Nick and the Klydo team are ideal winners; with customers already on board and a track record of entrepreneurship amongst its founders, it is perfectly poised to continue its growth. Add to this the engineering expertise behind its machine learning and Klydo has a bright future ahead of it.”

Professor Andy Hopper CBE FREng FRS, chair of judges for the Launchpad Competition said: “At the Enterprise Hub, we know that – particularly for young entrepreneurs – financial support is just part of the puzzle, and that the right skills and contacts, as well as a robust support structure, are key to starting a journey to a successful and sustainable business. It is immensely exciting to help entrepreneurs with such promise meet their full potential. This year’s cohort was stronger than we have ever had before and the judges have no doubt that all three finalists will go on to have fruitful enterprises in the future. Indeed, Nick was a finalist last year and shows that with a good idea, hard work and persistence, success naturally follows.”

Nick Schweitzer, founder of Klydo said: “Having quit my job and already been through one previous iteration of Klydo, it’s fantastic to receive this validation of our technology and idea. At the moment we are working with creative and innovation consultancies, but as a technology platform we can rapidly scale and the potential to open this up to many markets – financial services, FMCG – is vast. As winners of the JC Gammon Award, our membership of the Enterprise Hub gives us the mentorship and the expertise to achieve this scale, as well as a vital financial boost going into future funding rounds.”

The finalists for the Launchpad Competition were:

  • Nick Schweitzer, 25, Klydo – uncovering future ideas (winner of the Launchpad Competition)

    Up to 90% of attempted innovation in business fails. Nick aims to change this by creating a web tracking and machine learning technology that offers novel solutions to business problems, using the internet as its source of inspiration. It identifies what the future of an industry should be, helping business innovation succeed where it currently fails.

    The current methods used by these agencies to identify client problems and solutions – ranging from desk research to face-to-face interviews – are often slow and, if carried out incorrectly, prone to error. Nick’s technology brings creative intelligence to bear on these processes, establishing a new way to bring about positive change through the recombination of existing business intelligence and best practice.
  • Brittany Harris, 25, Qualis Flow – environmental risk management through digital innovation (winner of the People’s Choice Award)

    We need to develop our infrastructure to keep up with modern demands and challenges; always building new roads, homes, and railways. But construction has a significant impact on the local environment. Noise and air quality are major concerns for local residents, and impacts on water and natural resources are gaining greater attention. According to research, most rivers, lakes and groundwater in England will not meet legally binding EU water pollution targets by 2021.

    Engineer Brittany Harris has developed Qualis Flow to allow the construction industry to automatically identify areas of environmental risk by using live monitoring and feedback techniques. Her combination of remote sensing technology and data visualisation platform enables users to manage their resources more sustainably, reducing costs and helping organisations to become innovators in protecting the environment for the benefit of wider society.
  • Jack Pearson, 25, EngX – automating complex manufacturing

    Complex electromechanical products, such as robotics, are extremely difficult to assemble and wire, meaning production cannot be automated with current technology; manufacturers must rely on slow, costly and error prone hand labour. For custom products, these problems are compounded.

    To solve this problem, Jack and his team have created a hybrid production process that automates 3D printing, assembly and wiring of these products, all within one machine and from a digital file. It is the first machine to ever do this, opening the door for companies to create products that were previously impossible through automated production.

Notes for editors

  1. The judges for the 2017 Launchpad Competition were:
    - Professor Andy Hopper CBE FREng FRS, chair of judges
    - Paul Excell
    - Elspeth Finch MBE
    - David Gammon HonFREng
    - Ian Ritchie CBE FREng FRSE
    - Josh Valman

    Further information on the judges and their expertise is available at the Enterprise Hub website
  2. About the Enterprise Hub

    The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Hub is a national resource for the UK’s most promising engineering entrepreneurs. The Hub forms part of the Academy’s commitment to stimulate excellence and promote creativity and innovation in engineering. The Hub does this by making awards to exemplars of excellence and innovation in engineering who will be the founders and leaders of tomorrow’s high-tech companies. The awards include provision of money-can’t-buy bespoke support and one-to-one mentoring from its Fellowship, which comprises many of the country’s most successful engineers from across academia and industry, including prominent entrepreneurs and business leaders such as Mike Lynch OBE FREng, Sir Robin Saxby FREng, Anne Glover CBE HonFREng and Ian Shott CBE FREng.

    Enterprise Hub website
  3. About the Royal Academy of Engineering

    As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.

    We have four strategic challenges:
    - Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
    - Address the engineering skills crisis
    - Position engineering at the heart of society
    - Lead the profession

For more information please contact:

Danny Mitchell at AprilSix Proof
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