3Squared Developers meet George Osborne at Downing Street

8th November 2013

Two of 3Squared’s developers paid a visit to Downing Street this week, as part of the Silicon Valley comes to the UK conference. The pair had a meet and greet with Chancellor George Osborne and a tour of Number 11, having previously won a competition organised by SVc2UK.

iOS software engineers Sam Oakley and Luke Stringer had won the 2011 Appathon, which challenged developers to create an app that uses the Governments open data. The winning entry, ‘Safe Trip’, beat entries from 850 developers from around the UK. Safe Trip uses data on crime statistics, combined with GPS locations and Google Maps to plot a safe journey through an unknown area.

At the time, Sam and Luke were in the final year of their studies at the University of Sheffield, with the prize helping them to secure employment at 3Squared after graduation.

David Cameron

As part of the original prize in 2011, the pair visited Downing Street, along with two other Safe Trip team members, where they talked through their idea with Prime Minister David Cameron. They were joined at the Number 10 by winning teams for the other nine regional events.

Downing Street

Silicon Valley comes to the UK brings together entrepreneurs, investors and thought leaders to explore ideas and promote entrepreneurship, supported by universities around the UK as well as Google, Microsoft, Barclays and UKTI. SVc2UK was founded by angel investor Sherry Coutu and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, with winning ideas being pitched to an investment panel in the Silicon Valley, California.

Luke said “To visit Downing Street once was great, but going back with 2 years of work experience behind us was fantastic. George Osborne was extremely enthusiastic about technology entrepreneurship and the role that SME’s like 3Squared have in kick-starting the economy.”

A series of events took place through November, including the reception at Downing Street with George Osborne. The evening bought together winners from previous Appathon’s to celebrate the links between universities and entrepreneurship.

Office Inspiration

3Squared Commercial Director James Fox was also full of praise for the event commenting “These kinds of events are great not only for the developers, but also 3Squared. The guys get to meet with like-minded developers, discuss ideas and bring back some inspiration to the office.”

The original Safe Trip team won the regional Appathon event in Sheffield, hosted by the city’s Universities and the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership. Teams were given just 48 hours to develop their idea, with the winners making the trip down to London to meet the PM.

James continued “It’s great that the government recognises the importance of both technology and SME’s on the economy. I have attended ‘Hackathon’s’ myself and they are a breeding ground for ideas and creativity which is why 3Squared is planning to host an event next year that will encourage some real out of the box thinking and inspirational ideas.”

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