Liveability Prize Brains Award 2017

Fontys Information and Communication Technology

Liveability Prize Brains Award 2017 for Guardian

On 14 June the finale of the Brains Award took place in the Muziekgebouw in Eindhoven; the annual contest that challenges Eindhoven students (intermediate/higher vocational education and academic education) to come up with and present innovative, creative and socially relevant ideas or products. No less than 20 contestants took part in the contest and passionately pitched their ideas to the audience. Eventually Fontys ICT & Business student Steve Thijssen won the Liveability Prize Brains Award 2017. This prize (a cheque worth 3000 euros) allow him to further develop his concept Guardian. Time for an in-depth interview with this enterprising student!

How did you end up being nominated for the Brains Award 2017?
I saw a call to participate in the Brains award on Facebook. It's a fun contest that allows you to present your concept to a large audience. I enrolled and sent in an explanation and some images and eventually I got nominated for the top 20.

You won the Liveability award. What kind of award is this? And why do you think Guardian was awarded this prize?
The liveability award is about social problems / questions that we face in our everyday lives. Guardian is a platform that allows children to seek help in certain situations in a very accessible way. Last year the Kindertelefoon (Dutch hot-line for kids) received over 242,000 calls, which was an increase of 39,000 calls, or 19%, making it absolutely necessary for something to be done. Guardian allows organisations to cooperate with each other more closely, allowing expert knowledge to be used and employed more efficiently. Guardian offers a solution for a growing societal problem, eventually leading up to it being awarded the liveability prize, I think.

Did you expect winning this prize? Or had you hoped for it?
The most important thing was to point out that there is a solution to the problem and that we can solve the growing problem together. I'm very thankful that Guardian won.

And...then you hear your name being called at the award ceremony. How did that feel?
Exitement and appreciation for your work.

What are you going to use the money for?
I'm going to use it to work out the concept and to go to San Francisco for a month in order to implement new developments.

You also participated in the ICTalent Awards with Guardian. You just missed the first prize then. Was that an extra motivation to participate in the Brains Awards?
No, it wasn't an extra motivation to take part in the Brains Awards. I found it important to show the concept to as many people as I could so as to present Guardian to a wide audience.

Do you think your participation in both the ICTalent Awards and the Brains Award has made you think larger?
During the ICTalent Awards Carl Heskes of the CVO (centre for entrepreneurship) approached me and asked me to come visit him. Carl helped me in implementing the concept. So the ICTalent Awards brought me into contact with new people.

Any tips for students who hesitate to join any such events?
Show it to the world if you have developed something great. The events bring you into contact with new people, which can only benefit your concept.

Watch de ICTalent projectvideo of Guardian:



Tags: Awards