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Forty entrants explored a range of ideas and benefited from advice from government representatives from various departments, Visit Guernsey staff, Startup Guernsey business advisors and staff from sponsors. In the end 11 projects were presented to the judges on Thursday night. £1,000 prizes were awarded in 5 different categories, Instagrammable Moments, Victor Hugo, Modern Traditional, All Weather, and Pure Innovation.
Participants presented a wide range of ideas including bringing back old trams, creating a new hospitality academy, developing a new wellness holiday platform, setting picture “frames” around the island for photo opportunities, as well as improving the Sausmarez Nature Trail and creating new Victor Hugo information boards in the markets.
The judges included Deputy Dawn Tindall, tourism lead from the Committee for Economic Development, and representatives from Startup Guernsey, Visit Guernsey and each of the sponsors. The winners of the inaugural Tourism Ideathon are as follows:
Victor Hugo Category, sponsored by TPA
Victor Hugo Interpretation Centre – The Victor Hugo in Guernsey Society
The Victor Hugo in Guernsey Society proposed a new Victor Hugo Interpretation Centre on the seafront, open all year round, which will strengthen the deep link between Victor Hugo and Guernsey on a global stage. It will encourage visitors and locals to find out more about Victor Hugo, why he is so important and why we should be enthusiastic and proud that he chose to remain on our island for more than fifteen of his most creative years.
Dinah Bott and Roy Bisson from the Victor Hugo in Guernsey Society said: “There is so much to learn and enjoy about this extraordinary man! We are particularly excited that we will be embracing new technology to educate and entertain, and in this way we will help position Guernsey as a location of cultural innovation. We are delighted and honoured to have won the Victor Hugo category of the Ideathon and would like to thank TPA for their generous support.”
Modern Traditional Category – sponsored by Sarnia Hotels
G-Emoji - The Culverwell Family
G-Emoji was the winner of the Sarnia Hotels sponsored Modern Traditional category. Entered by the Culverwell family, the project focuses on creating a unique set of Guernsey emojis that bring to life our island’s customs, quirks and experiences. As visitors move around the island they can unlock an emoji that they can use on their mobile phones and share on social media.
Each emoji also contains some factual or fun narrative about what they have just experienced, hence also telling a story about their time on the island and encouraging them to experience and share more. The team presented how this can be done and a number of example emojis, such as for the Fairy Ring, Victor Hugo, Dark Skies, Board Meetings (aka Surfing), and Bean Jar. “It was lot of fun to take part in this event. My brother and I are really excited about working on our idea further. Lots of people came and spoke to us afterwards, including one person who was interested in investing!”, Joe, aged 10.
Instagrammable Moments Category – sponsored by Vivid
Victor Hugo Bench - Guernsey Arts Commission
Russ Fossey from the Guernsey Arts Commission said: “It was fabulous to win ‘Instagrammable Moments’ in the Startup Guernsey Ideathon. The Victor Hugo Bench will give opportunity for hundreds of thousands of instagrammable moments which will reach across the world. We would like to thank the sponsors, Vivid, and organisers of the event for this great initiative, bringing passionate and innovative groups of people together”.
The Victor Hugo Man on a Bench will become an iconic sculpture - it will be associated with Guernsey worldwide, and has been designed by local artist Mark Cook and inspired by Hugo’s novel, Toilers of the Sea. The bench embeds our history, our place in the world and our cultural heritage. Victor Hugo will be in a fantastic location in front of the Town Church, gazing out to sea, and from this central point will drive visitors to existing Victor Hugo sites.
Pure Innovation Category – sponsored by JT
Jeff Fox and Dennis Le Prevost – Guernsey Revival
Jeff and Dennis were involved in bringing the Distinguished Gentlemen vintage motor bike ride to Guernsey and are seeking to expand this charitable event to a Guernsey Revival weekend for locals and tourists alike to go back in time, with vintage bike and automobile showcases, activities and other interactive experiences. Their category of Pure Innovation was sponsored by JT.
Jeff and Dennis said “Winning has given us an amazing opportunity to approach partners who can assist in realising our dream of creating a Goodwood Revival style festival here on our beautiful island. Guernsey Revival will enable us to showcase nostalgia at its finest as that’s what we do best!“
All Weather Category – sponsored by PwC
James Steen, Ben Weldon – Virtual Reality Team, E-Qube
James and Ben are Virtual Reality enthusiasts who are seeking to open this new technology to locals and visitors alike. They hope to explore Guernsey on a new level by working with local attractions and transforming them into a virtual world to discover Guernsey’s past, present and future. They are already talking with the Guernsey Revival team to develop something together. The All Weather category was sponsored by PwC.
James said “We were so pleased to be a part of the inaugural Ideathon event and enjoyed sharing our passion in our idea. There was lots of support in the room and are looking forward to working with the local experts to drive our business.”