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New Shell LiveWIRE programme inspires young entrepreneurs to create a smarter future

Wed, 08 April 2015

Urbanminded and BananaBerry are first winners of Smarter Future Programme supporting entrepreneurs to meet the needs of a growing population
Shell LiveWIRE has announced Admium, now known as Urbanminded, and BananaBerry as the first winners of the new Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future programme. 
The programme offers monthly awards to young entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas to meet the needs of a growing population in a smarter, more sustainable way. 
Both companies received £5,000 in start-up funding and will participate in Shell LiveWIRE’s mentoring programme, which matches entrepreneurs with Shell experts for tailored business development support. Monthly winners will compete for the title of Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year and the opportunity to receive an additional grant of £25,000.
Mason Holden (24), along with his colleagues Michael Evans (24) and Daniel Harkin (25), the co-founders of Urbanminded, developed BikeVault, an advertising-supported bicycle parking structure, equipped with a built-in locking mechanism. Their idea addresses a significant barrier identified by the ‘Get Britain Cycling’ campaign to increasing cycling rates in cities – the lack of secure cycling infrastructure. The European Union could achieve up to 26% of the 2050 carbon reduction targets for the transport sector if cycling rates increase by five times their current level,  and businesses like Admium are integral to making this happen. 
Mason Holden commented on his win: “We are hugely honoured to be named the February winner of the Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future programme. The award funding will help us launch our first free BikeVault pilot scheme at the University of Dundee and increase cycling rates across the city. Our dream is for BikeVault to revolutionise cycling across the UK, by offering a free, secure service that encourages people to rethink how they get around and helps to position cycling as a safe and sustainable travel choice”.
The January winner of the Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future programme is 24 year-old Dan Roberts. His London-based social enterprise BananaBerry turns surplus fruit and vegetables which would otherwise go to landfill into healthy smoothies for office workers. Dan’s idea will help reduce food waste in the UK, estimated to be around 15 million tonnes annually, of which nine million tonnes is avoidable . 
Erik Bonino, Shell UK Chairman, congratulated the winners: “We expect that by 2030, society will need between 30% and 40% more water, food and other natural resources,  and as much as 50% more energy.   Entrepreneurs are the innovation hub of our economy, and it’s their ingenious ideas that will help meet this energy and resource challenge. The Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Programme is just one way we are inspiring young people to innovate and provide smart solutions to this pressing societal challenge. I wish Admium and BananaBerry all the best with their businesses.”

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