Posted on 27 April 2016
Sam Heather, a graduate of Computer Science, collected The Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award from Prince Andrew at a special awards ceremony, organised and hosted by the University of Huddersfield.
Sam Heather, 22, from Cornwall, is the co- founder of pingWHEN.
The app works by sending automated text messages to a specific contact when you arrive to a destination, or raising an alert if you don't, offering reassurance and peace-of-mind for both the user and their contact.
In all, 19 young entrepreneurs – each representing one of 19 universities in the North of England - received the Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award.
Tom Coward, from the University of York’s Careers’ enterprise team, nominated Sam Heather for the award. He said: “Sam has received ongoing support from the enterprise team in Careers ever since he got in touch with the idea for pingWHEN.
“He applied to and won Plan ENVY, the university’s business plan competition, taking the top prize of £2000. He has also made use of the university’s Proof of Concept fund, which students and recent graduates can apply to for funding to test their business idea. ”
Sam Heather said: “I was really delighted to be selected for the Duke of York award by the Careers department at my University. I'd been working with them for a year on a technology startup that I pitched to them last summer.
“The event in Huddersfield was really exciting: HRH took an incredible interest in the businesses of all the winners and it was great to hear what others were up to as well. All in all, I'm really delighted to have won a Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award.”
Sam Heather is currently involved with a number of exciting initiatives and is continuing to seek out new challenges and opportunities.
He said: “I continue to work on a number of social impact businesses full-time. At the moment I'm focusing on using technology to empower those without free access to knowledge, largely because they are living in poverty only with access to rudimentary telephone.
“The Enterprise team at York have been amazing, both before graduating and after, and I look forward to continuing to work with them.”