Our Journey


Apps For Good Awards 2015
 

When we received the amazing news that we had been short listed for the national Apps For Good Awards, we were very shocked as we never expected to get through and have a chance to present to a group of professional app makers and business people and possibly even have our dream turned into a reality. We knew that this was an unbelievable opportunity but with it came more hard work. We began by preparing a script and further developments. We gained crucial information and research by visiting Carers in Bedfordshire in Leighton Buzzard, where we met some young carers and they explained what day to day problems they face and gave feedback on our app. Alex from CHUMS came to visit us in school and gave us helpful advice about how young carers feel and what problems they may face. Shortly before the awards we presented to Mr John King who is the CEO of the Chiltern Learning Trust and to Mr Townsend who gave us very good feedback and support. We felt like we had also improved individually as better people and presented with passion to impress them. We also presented to Sophie Friermuth who is the Apps For Good Expert Of The Year 2015. She is a specialist in Public Speaking and she Skyped in to Denbigh to help us to further develop our presentation skills and combat our nerves!

The start of our journey began when we arrived at the You View headquarters in London. The building was a glass skyscraper which reached up to the clouds. We were greeted by Liz the Receptionist who was very friendly. She gave us tour around the building. We saw what the technical engineers, security experts and the product designers all did to ensure that You View is improving all the time. We also got to go to the top of the building and look at the amazing view across London. After the tour, we met with the Head of the Technical Area. He told us how the You View box set works. Then the staff that we’d be presenting to later introduced themselves. After that we went to a huge boardroom that has been used in the past by Alan Sugar and we pitched our presentation to some of the staff of You View. This included Amy McLean (Marketing Executive), Scott Riseborough (Test Engineer), Kevin Lewis (Head of DME), Liz Green (Receptionist/ Office Assistant), Lisa Wakefield (Head of Brand and Communications), David Faulkner (Head of Business Development and Partnerships), Jim Cutbush (Test Automation Project Manager) and Dave Evans (Head Front End Web Technologies Group Manager). They gave us valuable feedback on how to improve our presentation. They asked us tough questions, but due to our knowledge we calmly answered them. They were impressed with our answers.  After lots of discussion and advice, we made our way to The Barbican, carrying with us some amazing bags of goodies that You View gave us before we left.

After our amazing time at You View, it was time for the big moment, our Dragon’s Den pitch in one of the main meeting rooms in The Barbican. We pitched to seven dragons, including senior staff from Heathrow Airport and the BBC. This was our last chance to prove that we were capable of taking our app to the next level. Full of confidence, we stepped up and gave our best pitch yet. We left the judges in awe after answering their challenging questions with passion and no hesitation. However, that wasn’t the end. We still had the chance to win the People’s Choice Award by convincing the public that our app had potential at the Market Place Event. This was held in a huge conservatory at The Barbican and we had an easel with a display board about our app that had been professionally made for us by Apps For Good. For nearly two hours, every one of us talked with pride and passion about our app to the masses of important business people who visited our stand, including the Head of Technology from The Guardian, the winner of the 2012 series of “The Apprentice” and senior staff from Google and Thomson Reuters amongst many others. 

We also got to see again Stephen Parkes from Go Enrol who was one of our guest experts at Denbigh when we first started the programme and lots of the staff from You View also came to visit our stand and wish us luck. After talking for ages and ages, the Market Place was done and we were all extremely proud of ourselves. No matter what happened next, young carers were not going to be unnoticed any longer. Next up was the awards ceremony itself, the tension was building, would we return glorious?

It was time, the moment that we had all been waiting for. We all moved into the main auditorium at The Barbican, which is a huge space with tiered seating and a big screen. Debbie Forster, CEO for Apps For Good began to give out the awards, with the help of invited guests from, amongst other companies, Samsung, Talk Talk, Facebook and Thomson Reuters. We were all on the edge of our seats, clinging to the armrests. Our category of Sustainable Communities arrived and we tensed our hands – the adrenaline was pumping. The winning app was called out and, to our despair, our rivals Garden King had won. There was still the chance to win the People’s Choice award, which we felt was unlikely, as people had been voting for all eighteen shortlisted apps for the past three weeks. There was some consolation however as Denbigh High School was announced as the Apps For Good School Of The Year for 2015. We all went up with Mrs Darcy and Mr James to collect the award and have our photograph taken. The last award of the night was the People’s Choice award. We sat praying for a miracle. To our disbelief, the name of the winning app was read out and we had won! We heard the crowd roar as we went up to claim our prize and the feeling was indescribable. Definitely the best moment of my life!!!

On Friday 19th June, Team Konnekt returned to London to the Dragon Halls after the most victorious night of our lives. Because we had won the “People’s Choice” award, our app was going to be professionally produced and released over the next six months. Going to Dragon Halls was the beginning of that journey. During the day we participated in many activities and most importantly discussed our app with a company called Gourmet Pixel, who we will be working with us to turn our prototype app into an actual product that will be launched on either the App Store or the Google Play Store next year. They currently work with Virgin and Rolls Royce, so we are in good company! At the end of an exciting day, there was one more amazing surprise in store – we were each given a brand new Samsung Galaxy smartphone to take home. This was a thank you gift from Apps For Good and Samsung for taking part in the competition.

 From our Apps For Good journey so far we have improved so many of our skills including how to work as a business, teamwork and determination. We have also learnt how to speak confidently in public and engage your audience. Our ICT skills have improved massively, as we have learnt how to take a problem solving idea and turn it into a fully functioning app. All in all, Team Konnekt would like to give a warm thank you to Mrs Darcy and Mr James who have worked with us this year and who took us to London and to Mrs Harwood, Mrs Orr, Mrs McNeill and all the other Denbigh staff who have supported us on our incredible journey so far.

 

“My favourite thing about taking part in Apps For Good this year was that we all had the chance to get our ideas across in a friendly and professional way.” - Shayaan

 

“My favourite thing about taking part in Apps For Good was the Market Place event at The Barbican. It has really helped improve my confidence.” – Shakil

 

“Overall my favourite thing was that our small vision to change lives will now become real with the help of Apps For Good and Denbigh” – Itesham

 

“By far the best thing about Apps For Good was seeing our app grow and develop into something that can change lives for the better. The way we grew as a company was inspiring.” - Hasan

 

“My favourite part of Apps For Good was the Dragon’s Den presentation as all our work since September was applied and we gave our presentation with passion. As a result our app will hopefully be a big hit.” - Luay

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