Creative Spark Big Idea Challenge is an international video pitch competition for students and young entrepreneurs from the British Council’s Creative Spark programme countries. This programme contributes to the development of partnerships between universities in Ukraine and in the UK who implement projects to support enterprise education. The Big Idea Challenge video pitch competition encourages young people from programme countries to develop an innovative ‘startup’ and tell the world about it.

Students and young creative entrepreneurs who have joined the Creative Spark programme activities at one of the partner universities or organizations participated in the competition. A pitch project should fall into one of the announced categories: digital technology, social impact, or creativity. In addition to the three main categories, in 2021  participants have the opportunity to present creative ideas on climate change response and compete for a special prize.

Learn more about the Big Idea Challenge 2020 and 2019 winners from Ukraine by reading the materials below.

Big Idea Challenge winners 2020

Creative category winner 2020Eleobike, a smart security system that converts ordinary bicycles into electric bikes. The team of Serhii Davydov and Maksym Kuzminchuk was nominated by Lviv Polytechnic National University. In the upcoming months the team will be awarded with a dedicated mentor to work with the team, giving personalised advice to help develop a business idea.

 Digital technology category winner 2020Warm paper, automated printing points network. The project was developed by the team from Lviv Polytechnic National University: Yurii Horbal, Andrii Chumak, Volodymyr Hresko. The team already equipped 6 printing points at the university to solve students’ needs. The team will receive a qualified support of the mentor to further develop their project. 

Pandemic response innovation winner 2020 – is a new award to welcome creative ideas on Covid19 social response, post-Covid recovery and innovation. Disinspector Toucan represented by Paul Yesyp, Peter Yesyp, Michael Shulhan has developed an accessible, good looking device for quick, effective contactless hand disinfection. PPV Knowledge Network nominated the team to take part in the competition. Disinspector Toucan won a victory in this category and will receive a spot in an exclusive virtual Start-up Sprint Programme, mentoring package and £ 1,000 prize award. 

Social impact category winner, country people’s vote winner and country champion 2020Lady Di Atelier, the first Ukrainian inclusive atelier providing equal labour conditions for people with disabilities. The project was nominated by NGO Tech Start-up School. The project's aim is to provide employment for them and let feel equal, free to create. Children with Down syndrome create paintings which are turned into prints on scarves. The team of three – Olha Stavnykovych, Yaryna Yanchak and Iryna Liakhovenko –  has already sold more than 800 scarves. In the nearest future, they are planning to open a showroom for kids with Down syndrome. Lady Di Atelier will be awarded a spot in anexclusive virtual Start-up Sprint Programme, mentoring scheme and £ 2,000 prize award to develop their project.

Big Idea Challenge winners 2019

Creative category winner 2019 – Jewelry Art Education, an online academy for jewellery art: learn, create and share, developed by Bohdana Skin. The project was nominated by PPV Knowledge Networks Ltd. The project team was entitled to video conference advice and guidance from an experienced business mentor over the course of 6 months. Read Bohdana's interview and watch her video pitch here.

Social impact category winner and international public vote winner 2019 – Designer products from recycled textile waste project  by Tamara Ustenko, nominated by the Kyiv National University of Technology and Design. The project team was awarded mentoring package which is a great possibility to develop the project that has already found its audience. Apart from that, Tamara’s project became an International public vote winner among 7 countries. The winner was granted £ 2,000 to develop the project and represented Ukraine at the international final of the Big Idea Challenge in the UK where three international category champions and an overall international champion were selected. Read Tamara's interview and watch her video pitch here.

International champion, country champion and digital technology category winner 2019 – PiPillow, a smart pillow developed by Oleksandr Shymanko, Andrii Zhydenko, and Serhii Dmytrenok. This personal device allows to improve the quality of sleep. The project was nominated by Tech StartUp School. The team received  £ 5,000 prize award to develop their project and represented Ukraine at the international final of the Big Idea Challenge in the UK were the team was announced an International champion. Read Oleksandr's interview and watch his video pitch here.

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