Ask any successful startup what the most challenging time for them was, and it’s guaranteed they will say “taking the first step”. Which is why ahead of their launch in January, Plus X Brighton have launched DISRUPTORS. A competition for the city’s most inventive minds, seeking and rewarding local entrepreneurs with a sustainable idea.
Championing innovation and invention
Applicants are in with the chance of winning six months desk space and mentorship at Plus X Brighton Innovation Hub. This prize could be the determining success factor for a product in its early stages. With specialist support from business and product development experts and access to the fully equipped, state of the art workshop space. Plus X Innovation hubs are the most fertile environments from which to see your business thrive - and they’re offering this opportunity to one lucky entrepreneur with an idea for disruption.
Mat Hunter, co-CEO at Plus X, said, “Plus X Brighton champions innovation and invention which is why we are launching our first ever Disruptors competition. Whether you think of yourself as an entrepreneur and innovator, or just an optimist and challenger, an artist, maker or simply a person with a good idea who wants to make a positive change, we are seeking Brighton’s most inventive minds".
So, what is the Circular Economy?
Unthinkable volumes of waste come from the products that we use, not only in the disposal but also in the manufacturing stages of product development. Meaning that good product design must move towards a more sustainable, circular and resilient place. For this reason, all product submissions for Disruptors must show evidence of integrating sustainable design and fit within a Circular Economy framework.
The Ellen Macarthur Foundation largely pioneered the Circular Economy concept, inspiring a movement away from the unsustainable, extractive and linear model that weighs heavily on a system of “take, make, waste”. The concept is focussed on moving economic activity away from the consumption of finite resources and by designing waste out of the system. The three principles that the Circular Economy Framework is based on are: Design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use and regenerate natural systems. It is these principles that will drive the panel’s decision for choosing the entrepreneur with the most disruptive and sustainable product idea.
On the panel…
Editor and Founder of internationally recognised Startups Magazine, Daisy Stapley-Bunten is in our stellar line-up of specialist judges. An entrepreneur in her own right, Daisy was inspired by London’s entrepreneurial tech culture to celebrate the bravery of UK startups, giving them a platform to connect the dots through the monthly digital and print magazine. “Startups Magazine champions tech startups – the entrepreneurial heroes disrupting industries and the creators challenging norms and breaking boundaries.”
Holly Price is the South East’s Relationship Manager for Santander Universities, the bank’s main CSR programme. Holly’s position with Santander is dedicated to nurturing the upcoming generation of entrepreneurs from universities based across the South East of England. “My role is to ensure we are focussed on helping students, graduates, staff, academics and their communities prosper”. Bank’s CSR programme has global impact through investment in education, spanning twenty countries and over one-thousand universities.
Women of Wearables CEO, Marija Butkovic, brings her wide-ranging industry knowledge. The launch of the global Women of Wearables platform has seen her supporting, connecting and mentoring women and diverse groups in wearable tech, fashion tech, health tech and IoT. “WoW’s mission is to encourage more women and diverse teams to participate in building hardware and software products as designers, product managers and developers, or being founders of their own companies”. Marija has been featured in major tech and business publications such as Forbes, TechCrunch, The Next Web and Huffington Post. In 2017, 2018 and 2019 she was selected as one of the Most Influential Women in UK Tech by Computer Weekly.
And finally, very own Plus X Co-CEO, Mat Hunter, offers a wealth of knowledge in product design and UX. Mat started his career in Silicon-Valley with world renowned innovation agency IDEO, working with startups and corporates to pioneer digital products and services. He has been Chief Design Officer at the Design Council and is a recognised thought-leader, lecturing at both design and business schools.
A city gaining momentum on the UK tech scene
The city of Brighton and its surrounding regions has fast been gaining momentum as a hotspot for UK digital and technology talent. It is a magnet for innovation with a wealth of expert agencies and diverse startups and scaleups. With direct links to London, Brighton has also been recognised as one of the optimum places to start a business in the UK. Plus X Brighton will be building on this momentum, providing the winning Disruptor the ultimate spot for kick starting their business.
Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive of Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, which contributed £7.7 million from their Local Growth Fund to help create Plus X Brighton, said: “We are excited to be supporting this transformational project which will create a thriving space for local businesses, bringing tangible benefits to the local community and the city as a whole.”
Disruptors: more than a competition
Disruptors is not just a local competition. It is a spotlight on positive social and economic impact. Brighton is a hub for inventive and creative business. Through wider connection, collaboration and celebration, Plus X aims to support and nurture local business and community, driving prosperity, social and economic success.
Thinking of applying? Head to hub.plusx.space/disruptors and submit your file (deadline 3rd November)