Future First and Nesta Challenges

This year Future First were delighted to partner up with Nesta Challenges to deliver the Longitude Explorer Prize programme, a challenge competition which aims to inspire young people to use technology to tackle the issues that they care about, whilst demystifying innovation and entrepreneurship as a potential career pathway.

Open to teams of 11-16 year olds across the U.K, students were able to enter the competition through their secondary school or youth group. They were then tasked with creating or improving a product, app or service that uses AI technology to make the world a better place. Following an assessment and moderation process, 40 lucky teams have been selected as finalists and have eight weeks to develop their business case and prototype with the support of a mentor online. In July the teams will present to a panel of judges and one team will win the competition and a £20,000 prize pot which will be awarded to their school.

As part of our partnership we have recruited and trained alumni mentors who are providing advice and guidance to students over the next two months as they develop their products and prepare their pitches for the judging panel. We’re excited to find out what innovative products come out of this programme!

Maddy Kavanagh from Nesta Challenges said, “It has been a brilliant experience to work with Future First to link Longitude Explorer Prize teams with mentors, including those who went to their own school! Working with a role model to help advise them and guide them with their projects will be invaluable for many of the young people taking part, and we’re hugely grateful to all of the mentors who are volunteering their time to help and to Future First for helping prepare them for the opportunity. We can’t wait to see how the team’s ideas develop over the course of the mentoring!”