An app to connect people, reduce loneliness and celebrate acts of kindness, an e-commerce platform to help local businesses trade during the pandemic, and an online academy to upskill care workers are the three beneficiaries of grants totalling £23,500 from Digital Jersey’s Covid-19 Community Challenge.
Individuals and groups were invited to pitch for a portion of up to £30,000 to fund technological solutions that will be of benefit to Jersey while it manages the impact of coronavirus.
27 submissions were whittled down to 6 shortlisted pitches which were presented to judges in a Dragons’ Den-style event broadcast live on YouTube.
One of the judges, Dr. Glenda Rivoallan, founder and CEO of Soulgenic, said: “All six submissions were shining examples of the entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity that thrives in Jersey. My fellow judges and I believe they all have merit, but that three stood out and deserved funding to support the fast-track progression of their ideas.”
Fetch, an online trading platform, receives £10,500. Uniti, a gratitude app which allows people to create networks to share acts of kindness, is awarded £8,000. Care Academy, which offers accredited training for care workers, gets £5,000.
Digital Jersey CEO Tony Moretta said: “This was about firing up our brilliant tech community to submit their solutions in a fast-paced and quick-turnaround process. To get from launch to funding in four weeks is a testament to all who took part. I’d like to thank all those who made submissions, and our esteemed panel of judges who had the unenviable task of deciding who should be awarded what. This is the first time we’ve put up money in this way, but I suspect it won’t be the last.”
The Digital Jersey team will be working alongside each of the beneficiaries to track their progress and offer support and expertise.
The judging panel comprised Glenda Rivoallen, alongside Envestors CI Managing Director Ed Daubeney, IBM’s Chief Technology Officer for the UK and Ireland Andy Stanford-Clark, the University of Exeter Business School’s Professor in Digital Economy Alan Brown, and CEO of Pinpoint Tom Hacquoil.
You can replay the pitch event at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONXbGBtd6zU