One of the highlights at PI LIVE this year was the Digital Disruptors ‘Dragons’ Den’ Final on Day 2, where the next generation of digital entrepreneurs pitched their creative ideas to the show’s very own ‘dragons’.
The session, which took place at the main stage of Old Billingsgate saw four finalist teams competing to win the McShane Young Digital Disruptor Award, presenting their fresh and exciting digitally disruptive thinking.
Having impressed the judges, it was Team Look Out, made up of Katie Nyarko and Zion Simpson with their ingenious touchscreen app who deservedly won the inaugural award. The app they produced allows users to flag any geographical areas of danger to their friends' list as well as cleverly sending instant alerts to their favourites list if they are in urgent need of police help.
“We devised Look Out in direct response to the rising crime levels in London, high harassment levels for young women and increasing police shortages,” said Nyarko; “Our aim was to use digital to connect people in our community, promote selflessness and community spirit and help to keep areas safer.”
The digital disruptors programme, which was set up in memory of the late Nicky McShane and inspire the next generation of digital marketers, saw 40 South London based teenagers to experience a structured series of in-house workshops and mentoring opportunities thanks to the support of a raft of leading digital businesses including Snap, Vouchercloud, Awin, Disrupt and Found. This gave them invaluable access to the digital industry’s expansive expertise and knowledge and allowed them to work first-hand with companies and individuals who currently deliver the UK’s most disruptive digital thinking.
The apprentices then got the chance to showcase their own creative thinking and innovation through the challenge of ‘how they would use digital to bring together your community’. Four teams went through to the Dragons’ Den-style final at PI LIVE, pitching their ideas to a mass audience at the conference event.
Other ideas pitched at the workshop session at PI LIVE included a programme to raise much needed awareness of the high levels of suicide within the LGBTQ+ community, ethnic minorities and young males, a digital platform and event for empowering, encouraging and elevating more young women who face period poverty and an online musical youth club initiative.