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The Innovation Den

Sam Groves

First Place

'Bird Box'

by Sam Groves, Cirencester Deer Park

Sam's ergonomic Blue Tit nesting box secured him first place in the Innovation category. Sam also makes nesting boxes for robins and sparrows and it was his Sparrow Terrace box that caught the eye of TV presenter and farmer, Adam Henson (who was also a judge for The Cotswold Challenge). Sam has now made four bespoke Sparrow Terrace boxes for Adam and had the opportunity to go to Cotswold Farm park to hand them over to the TV presenter himself.

As a result of his involvement with The Cotswold Challenge, there are more exciting opportunities on the horizon for our budding young entrepreneur.

Read more about Sam's Success Story

Innovation Winner

"Sam has had a mowing business since the age of 12 and obviously has good work ethic. He identified a problem in the design of bird boxes and has come up with solutions which he has developed and used in the bird boxeshe now makes up and sells. The process of identifying a problem, devising a solution for that problem, raising the cash and selling in the right market place are all core business principles which will be very useful for him in the future."
Verity Manners

"Nicely presented and a charming product."
Geoff Burch

"Samuel has not only had an idea, but he has also developed his idea and realised demand. I hope he carries on making woodwork that can encourage nature back into our gardens and communities."
Jeevan Thandi

"Sam is clearly a very innovative person and I absolutely love the simplicity of this idea and how he has created something which plays to their strengths and interests. Clearly a bright future awaits and I cannot wait to hear more!"
Caroline Summers

"When you think “Why hasn’t anyone thought of that before”, the idea is a winner. And he’s actually taken the time to build one. I don’t know whether such a bird box has been built before –but I do know that if it has, it’s not widely available as I haven’t seen any in the shops. (Nicky Godding)oSam addresses a common problem experienced by many, many hundreds of people who enjoy bird nesting. Sam has applied a logical approach to the issue and, whilst improving on an age old design, his design brings the added value of being far safer to attend bird boxes, whilst standing on a ladder."
Phil Duff

"A really well thought through innovative idea that is well worth recognition and I would definitely buy some."
Adam Henson

Third Place

'Kloves'

by Issy Spurway, Farmor’s School

Innovation Winner

"This is a business which sells up-cycled and handmade clothes which aren’t expensive and can be available to everyone. Issy identified that a large number of discarded items end up in landfill and she decided to repurpose clothing. She uses social media tosell her products with an acknowledgement to body positive attitudes. I checked her Tiktok platform and she has a large following and approachable attitude in her marketing."
Verity Manners

"This was not the most elegantly presented of the entries, but what it did demonstrate was that the entrant had got a really firm grip of social media and has already built up a following and market tested her product. This is showing signs of a true entrepreneur in the making and I think we will see more from this entrant in the future. Watch this space."
Geoff Burch

"Issy has managed to take her idea and run with it. She has accumulated a large social media following and is using TikTok to share and sell recycled clothing. There were lots of ideas around the environment and fashion in the Challenge. But for me, this is a stand out due to the amount of effort invested so far and the implications of shifting culture to think about recycling instead of throwing away clothing."
Jeevan Thandi

"What a fantastic idea and the TikTok posts are excellent. I think Issy already has a good following and is on the path to greatness with this idea."
Caroline Summers

Love the brand name and the thought process and brand values behind the initiative. There are others doing similar things, but very credible. Consideration needs to be taken on how it could scale up if that’s the long term goal.
Adam Henson

Issy Spurway
Oliver White

Fourth Place

'Explore Rural'

by Oliver White, The Cotswold School

Innovation Winner

"This idea integrates education and an element of challenge as subjects are identified and included in the scrap book. I like the fact that it educates and promotes tourism in the Cotswolds."
Verity Manners

"Beautifully presented and thoughtful entry."
Geoff Burch

"What I particularly liked about this solution was Oliver's idea to use CoreML and Flutter to develop his app idea .He's ahead of his peers even knowing what these things are. Furthermore, the idea of collectables makes this idea very attractive. Like a real life Pokemon Go!"
Jeevan Thandi

"Excellent presentation and I just love how useful this app could be. It would be a great educationaltool and you could see this being more widely rolled out."
Caroline Summers

"Making the public more closely acquainted with wheretheir food comes from is essential if we are to respect the farmers and the food we eat. There are companies in the Cotswolds who, I think, would welcome the idea and be prepared to invest in its development."
Nicky Godding

"This could be a very useful app for people as they explore the countryside and could be used at tourist destinations like farm attractions, zoos and gardens. It will take a huge amount of work to populate it."
Adam Henson

Highly Commended

'Tutor Together'

by Molly Scrase-Kings, Cirencester College

Innovation Highly Commended

"I think so many people are missing school during the Covid-19 outbreak and affordable tutoring will be very important. I’d be interested to see how it develops."
Verity Manners

"Home tutoring is very expensive for the children that need it the most. This kind of community entrepreneurship is the kind of disruption that's needed to make sure that everyone has access to help; and students themselves learn through teaching."
Jeevan Thandi

"Such a great idea to help students when they are struggling. I know how expensive tutors can be and using ex students who are more familiar with the recent curriculum is an excellent idea."
Caroline Summers

"I really like this idea where school and university students could work together. I expect there’s some important child protection legislation to consider."
Adam Henson

Molly Scrase-Kings
Daisy Keen

Commended

'Modular housing'

by Daisy Keen, Burford School

Innovation Commended

"I love this idea and I think it is the future. Home ownership and the cost of renting is making accommodation harder for more of the population. We will need to be thinking of these kinds of solutions to ensure everyone in the future has a place they can call home. Even if it's only temporary."
Jeevan Thandi

Commended

'Greeco-X'

by Jacob Matthews, Rendcomb College

Innovation Commended

"This idea is a game to educate children about the environment. It has already been developed and I liked the attention to detail of aligning the game with the school curriculum for pupils in a specific age group. The importance of education in looking after the environment is hugely important."
Verity Manners

"Jacob has put a lot of thought into transforming the theme of an old favourite traditional British board game. His ideas are modern, fresh and very much of the age we now live in. His game highlights critical issues and is therefore also educational."
Phil Duff

"Looks like a great game. Board games are still very popular even in this digital age and an Eco game is very topical and prevalent. I like it that you can play and learn at the same time."
Adam Henson

Jacob Matthews
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