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Local team wins innovation award in Young Enterprise UK final

Eyleen Gomez

Local team ‘Fuze’ won the ‘Innovation in IT’ Award at the Young Enterprise National Final, which was held virtually this year.

The group of students from Bayside Comprehensive School clinched the top prize in the local final just last week and have now won an award in the UK final.

The award, sponsored by American communications company AT&T, was awarded after the team presented their blender and app online.

Fuze created a portable blender and app, which provides 50 different recipes ranging from vegan to protein shakes.

The company had orders for its blender prior to Covid-19 and had taken deposits, but had to offer refunds when factories closed due to the pandemic. When factories reopen, Fuze has promised to retake orders and produce its blender.

Their aspiration was to promote a healthy lifestyle with the blender, that is then supported by an app which provides customers easy access to workouts and smoothie recipes.

They aim to slowly minimise the use of large wired blenders and replace them with much smaller rechargeable portable blenders, which will allow blending to take place anywhere, anytime.

“When we started this journey, none of us really thought we could get to the UK finals and to actually win such an important award there was truly amazing,” Roham Chellaram, the Managing Director of Fuze, said.

“We would like to thank our friends and family, our Business Advisors, [Young Enterprise], and our link teachers for their support and encouragement. We have learned a lot along the way and stuck together despite these challenging times."

The AT&T Innovation in IT Award is awarded to the team which demonstrates excellence in its approach to their use of IT. This can include solid use of IT in managing the efficiency of their enterprise, in developing their product and in acquiring and developing their own IT skill capabilities along the journey.

“For AT&T, technology is embedded into everything we do,” Andy O’Malley, Director, Service Management said.

“We’re looking for a company who has demonstrated adoption, upskilling and innovation in the use of technology. Our congratulations to Fuze, for demonstrating those values so brilliantly in the YE Company of the Year 2020 competition.”

Young Enterprise is a charity which works to equip young people with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to succeed in the changing world of work.

Their vision is that every young person is given an equal opportunity to learn the vital skills needed to earn and look after their money, to develop an enterprising mindset and to make a valuable contribution to their communities and wider society.

Students across the UK and Gibraltar set up companies over the academic year, making all the decisions about their business, from deciding the company name and product, to creating a business plan, managing their finances and selling their products – despite the challenging conditions due to Covid-19.

Young Enterprise research shows Company Programme participants develop key employability skills and a longitudinal study of Company Programme alumni has shown that in the two years following the programme, 94% are in education, employment or training [EET] – 5% higher than the national rate.

“Reaching the Company Programme National final represents an inspirational journey with many months of hard work, teamwork, creativity and resilience; congratulations Fuze,” Sharon Davies, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise, said.

The experience and skills students from every team will have developed will stay with them for many years to come and will make a tangible difference to their futures. Students have shown particular resilience this year by continuing with their product development and sales despite school closures.”