A group of students from The University of Nottingham have brought together friendship and food in a unique app to jointly win a global entrepreneurial competition.
The group – You Only Cook Once (YOCO), were awarded joint first prize, alongside a team from the University of Amsterdam, in Universitas 21’s Global Ingenuity Challenge. YOCO were also awarded the Peers Choice Award – which is voted for by fellow competitors.
This was the third U21 Global Ingenuity Challenge (GIC) – an online competition which challenges teams of undergraduate students to come up with solutions to real-life issues.
The competition is run by Universitas 21, the leading global network of research-intensive universities, that work together to promote global citizenship and innovation through teaching and learning, student mobility and connecting staff and students. Collectively, its members enrol over 1.3 million students and employ over 220,000 staff.
The winners of the GIC were announced at the opening of the Universitas 21 annual conference on Tuesday 2 May, which is being hosted by The University of Nottingham and will run until Friday 5 May.
This year the GIC attracted entries from fifteen teams from nine universities participating in the challenge.
A broad theme is selected each year that allows for an interdisciplinary approach to solutions and analysis, so that it appeals to a wide range of students and disciplines. This year’s theme was ‘Promoting Cultural Inclusiveness in Society’.
Simon Mosey, Professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Director of the Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at The University of Nottingham, said: “In its third year, the breadth and quality of the student’s work was outstanding and shows that ingenuity and entrepreneurship can be nurtured and enhanced through cross cultural collaboration.”
The challenge (which requires students to submit their ideas online in a three-minute video) is organised through ‘Ingenuity Online’, a creative problem solving tool developed by the Nottingham University Business School’s Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The team from Amsterdam noted ‘The Ingenuity platform is a nice way to structure your thoughts and come up with practical solutions to wide ranging problems’.
Teams based in seven different countries used Ingenuity Online to break down the problem and develop innovative and scalable solutions. All their ideas will be showcased at the U21 Chile summit and will be offered support to accelerate their development.
YOCO was the idea from a group of five Nottingham students; Darinka Burovska, Maryann Arikawe, Charles Mobley, Lisa Achammer and Eugen Rutkowski.
YOCO is an app which brings together people from different cultural backgrounds. By putting together groups of students from different cultures into groups of five, each one of them cooks for the others – once in a week. In return, they get to enjoy home cooked meals for the rest of the week. This way they only have to cook once and people get to make new friends.
Dainka Burovska, a member of the team behind YOCO, said: "This was an amazing experience for all of us. We are all from five different countries and cultures and we met each other for the first time. We had great team work and the synergy level was always on high level. Starting from idea generating at Ingenuity Online, we had outstanding brainstorming session, with more than 200 ideas.
“It was enjoyable to work in such a diverse team, and learn, from experience, about the great value of cultural awareness.”
Professor James Conroy (VP Internationalisation, University of Glasgow), Chair of the judging panel, commended the high standard of entries this year: “The Global Ingenuity Challenge continues to attract entries of the highest quality from across our universities. Indeed, judging the best is itself a challenge for the panel as so many of this year’s entries combined wonderful presentational skills and innovative solutions, reflecting the passion to constantly nurture intercultural understanding and engagement.
“The best entries skilfully combined clever media presentation, clarity of thought and innovative solutions that reached out to communities beyond the university.”
All the entries can be viewed here.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.
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