Microsoft today announces the 12 finalists of Internet Explorer 8 Life Academy, chosen to battle it out live in front of a high profile judging panel comprising of Professor Robert Winston, entrepreneur and lastminute.com co-founder Brent Hoberman, Countdown mathematician Rachel Riley, Channel 4 technology journalist Benjamin Cohen and Microsoft Director Leila Martine to win one of three £10,000 grants.
Internet Explorer 8 Life Academy is a national competition launched to give 18-25 year olds a chance to explore their future potential and win a £10,000 grant to make their socially responsible idea a reality. Shortlisted ideas include building schools in Kenya; flying old hospital equipment to Uganda; providing careers information for young people; creating green energy from footsteps or providing a politics platform for aspiring councillors. On June 25th 2010 the 12 finalists will go head to head in a live pitch for a chance to win one of three £10,000 grants to put their idea into action.
The judges will be looking for clear and concise presentations from each of the finalists on how their idea will practically and wisely use the £10,000 grant and the difference the ideas will make to society, business or in general.
To get to this stage the finalists submitted a short video to pitch for one of three category grants
• Adventurer Explorer Grant for travel, adventure or environmental projects
• Online Venture Explorer Grant for budding technology and business entrepreneurs
• Creativity Explorer Grant for creative, media and arts-based ideas.
Leila Martine, judge and director of Windows consumer business, said: “18-25 year olds have grown up with the internet, and Internet Explorer has grown with them. The web continues to be a source of knowledge and inspiration for emerging talent and we want to continue encouraging and supporting students and graduates by giving them the extra boost to get their ideas off the ground. Internet Explorer 8 Life Academy ignited the imaginations of 268 people from all over the UK and we have chosen 12 very strong finalists to pitch for the £10,000 grants.”
Rachel Riley, Countdown mathematician, said: “I was lucky enough to get my dream graduate job but that’s not always the case, particularly in the current economic climate. There are so many intelligent and socially responsible young people out there that don’t have the opportunity to make their ideas come to fruition. It’s exciting to be part of a campaign that will give three people the opportunity to do just that. I’m sure choosing the recipients of the grants will be a tough task.”
This post was submitted by James Mulrennan.