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Joint winners of SVC2UK app challenge meet PM


David Cameron has presented an award to the Oxford winners of the Silicon Valley Comes to the UK challenge (SVC2UK): a competition that sees university students using government data to hack together innovative apps for the public good.   

In October, students from across the UK took part in a the regional coding competitions, using recently released government data sets to build applications to unlock the power of public data. More than 850 university students entered the competition to design mobile phone applications to pass on information on everything from healthcare, education, and the environment, with the aim of making both a positive social impact and enhance its accessibility to peers, parents, and grandparents.

The winning app from Oxford, CourseHorse, provides its users aggregated information about local vocational training opportunities; allowing people to identify appropriate training to up-skill themselves in their local area.  There are currently 2.57 million unemployed individuals in the UK, and 82.5% of the UK population is connected to the internet. The app connects users to relevant training opportunities, and in addition, identifies courses for which funding is available, and provides direct access to enrolment information. 

CourseHorse began by winning the Oxford Appathon round, before being selected as one of eight national winning apps.  The team was made up of Niluka Satharasinghe (Computer Science), KC Lee (Physics), Giovanni Milandri (Engineering Science), and Fatima Sabar (International Development), who were joined by Nikhil Adhia of the London School of Economics.

The award was presented by Prime Minister David Cameron, Reid Hoffman (co-founder LinkedIn) and Sherry Coutu (TechCrunch Top CEO Mentor - Europe) at Number 10 Downing Street.

David Cameron, said, ‘Silicon Valley Comes to the UK is one of the most important inward investment events of the year, bringing leading Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors together with British technology companies to spark new connections and investments ... I warmly welcome the news that Silicon Valley Comes to the UK is organising a competition to reward the creative use of government data. This type of innovation can produce new applications and services that generate significant social and economic benefits.’

Further information about the competition:

A YouTube video of the winning app: 



The winning app