£10,000 Funding to help the environment

Do you have a digital solution to an environmental problem?

Are you aged between 17 and 25? Do you have an idea that could help the environment through digital technology, such as improving energy efficiency, reducing waste or increasing recycling?

If so, this is your chance to apply for up to £10,000 of funding from Environment Now to help make that idea into a reality!

This exciting opportunity from O2’s Think Big will not only provide successful applicants with the money, but also support from the Environment Now team, their own professional mentor and other sustainability partners and industry professionals.

Current applications are open until the 8th of September, however this will be followed by another round of applications, open until October the 27th.

To find out more, watch the video below and visit the Think Big website, where you can also read about previously funded projects.

Chance to exhibit at eCommerce Show North

‘Celebration of the North’s strength in eCommerce’

Delivered by Prolific North, the eCommerce Show North is the largest gathering of eCommerce companies, vendors and suppliers held outside London, reflecting the huge commercial marketplace that is the North.

Tech North have announced that they will be heading to the show and hosting a collection of stands to form the ‘Tech North boulevard.’ For your chance to exhibit as part of ‘the boulevard’ all you have to do is fill in a simple online form on Tech North’s website.

To apply, your business must be no more than five years old and have fewer than 25 full-time employees.

The deadline for applications is the 14th of July, for more details visit the Tech North website. 

The eCommerce show North will be held from the 11th-12th of October at EventCity in Manchester, for more details on the event, visit their website.

£10,000 to take the Environment Now Challenge!

Do you have a digital solution to an environmental challenge?

Following on from the recent Thinkspiration workshop hosted on campus by the Environment Now team we have some further details with regards to taking part in the Environment Now Challenge!

Through the Environment Now challenge you can apply for up to £10,000 to develop your idea and you’ll also receive mentoring, work experience and insight days with industry professionals help you make it happen.

To apply for the challenge you must:

  • Be aged 17-25 years old.
  • Use digital technology to solve an environmental issue
  • Be based within the UK
  • Be committed to completing project objectives within ten months
  • Have the passion to inspire other young people

To find out more about applying visit: www.gothinkbig.co.uk/features/the-environment-now or email TheEnvironmentNow@o2thinkbig.co.uk

The Enterprise Team would also be very keen to hear from you if you are considering applying so please do get in touch or drop into an IdeasLab.


The Environment Now Thinkspiration workshop

Find out how your idea could be funded up to £10,000…

The Environment Now Thinkspiration workshop will enable you to:

  • Learn how to utilise digital technology to tackle environmental challenges.
  • Take part in open discussions and spider diagram sessions about environmental issues and digital solutions.
  • See and hear about how you could use digital technology to change our future.
  • Hear from O2 employees about their experience with digital technology.

You don’t need any digital skills! If you are passionate about the environment, sustainability, entrepreneurship, digital or helping your community this workshop is for YOU!

When? 17th March, 10am-12:30pm

Where? Management School Lecture Theatre 10

Sign up through this booking form.

Email The Environment Now team for further information.

Apps are rarely the right answer for SMEs…

Aidan Watt, technical director at Hotfoot Design has written an article for the Lancashire Business View which helps to simply explain why Apps may not be the best use of resources for SMEs. The launch of the Apple App Store in 2008 transformed the digital dimension, but really how many of these apps are actually used? How many businesses benefit from them?

To read more click here.

Crowdsourced app creation: Cash for comments


Guest News Post

A lucky chance encounter at a drop in session with Lancaster Universities Enterprise Team has kick started my ideas into more than just a list in my i-phone.

I’ve been using the ‘Business Model Canvas’ to explore and prototype a number of ideas and my latest project is an app called ‘Flirt Yeti’.

I’m experimenting with my ideas on a site called Applits.com which makes it possible for anyone who does not have the time, money, or coding knowledge to make an app to have a go by getting involved. You can check out my app idea at

To get going, you simply submit your app idea into the Applits competition and it will receive valuable feedback/votes; you might be the creator of the next ‘Angry Birds’.

Lifelong royalties are paid to the submitter of the winning app and the three people who contribute the most to the development of the winning apps.

Applits.com is more than an app idea competition, anyone can contribute to every part of the crowd-sourced app development and earn monthly royalty payments for your creativity, knowledge, skills or research.

By getting involved you can input and gain a perspective of app:

–   Design – Development  – Naming – Slogan – Marketing – Business model  – Pricing strategy  – beta testing

Applits.com recently won the award for Americas coolest college start-up and is now listed along side the likes of Google, Facebook and Yahoo as Americas coolest college start-ups ever.

By getting app users to submit and vote on the apps that they want to see on their smartphones, Applits are developing apps that are proven to be desirable by end users.

Flirt Yeti was born at Lancaster University, and with your input and support it could be downloaded around the world.

To find out more or vote for my creation Flirt Yeti, hit this link to view and vote, and make a ‘serial innovator’s’ day.

Scott Baldwin

Lancaster University, Facilities Department

Alumni Success Story

Alex Melia  – Swoosh English


Swoosh English was founded by Alex Melia due to popular demand from Primary School students based in Hong Kong, who wanted to start a different, fun and more exciting approach to learning English. Alex is a CELTA qualified teacher and spent over 3 years working as an English teacher in Hong Kong. He worked at a primary school in Shatin and then started his own Summer teaching programme over 3 consecutive Summers, where he taught over 200 satisfied students. Swoosh English has been experimenting and implementing new strategies to learning English, which more successfully meet the needs of education today. The focus is on embracing technology to meet the needs of the modern learner, coupled with the importance of bringing your children into contact with native English teachers who can help them achieve their goals. After refining our approach, we feel we have got the perfect method, and we are very excited to bring this method to Hong Kong primary school children, just like yours.



Click here to Swoosh:

We must unleash the sharing economy to help drive living standards

Digital revolution allows people to rent far more goods than used to be possible, ensuring that they only pay for what they actually use.

The latest entrant to this booming market is BMW, which has just launched a joint venture with car rental company Sixt to bring the DriveNow car-sharing model to London from Germany. This will allow users to locate, unlock and start cars using a mobile phone app, then pay for them on a per minute basis, crucially eliminating any need for a central collect and return point. Unlike traditional airport car rentals, one-way journeys will be possible – though at the moment this will be limited to parking-spaces in three London boroughs. Read more.




New EU VAT rules threaten to kill UK micro firms


The EU’s new VAT MOSS rule, which is due to come into force on January 1, will create a #VATMESS and strangle innovation, say the UK’s small business owners.

Small businesses trading online are up in arms about a new EU regulation, which states that from 1 January 2015, VAT on digital products will be chargeable in the place of purchase rather than place of supply in the EU. To read more click here.

If you would like to campaign against this click here