BrandIndex measures perceptions of the brands that we know of and buy today, but this week I wanted to think about the potential brands of tomorrow. On Monday I had the great pleasure of meeting young entrepreneurs at the launch of StartUp Summer, a scheme to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among students organised by YouGov with University College London and Imperial College and supported by Downing Street.
The chart from the Bloomberg/YouGov Household Economic Activity Tracker shows that unemployment worries remain high among the British population, with our job security index between -15 and -21 throughout 2011, having never been higher than -10 in 2009 or 2010; but if the quality of entrepreneurs that I met on Monday is anything to go by then the longer term outlook for our economy is a bright one. Students are becoming more prepared to follow a business path rather than the traditional professional services one, and London’s Silicon Roundabout (where YouGov is headquartered) may get a little of Silicon Valley’s enterprise spirit.
During the scheme five teams will have six weeks to turn their great ideas into business plans to take to market. They will attend workshops, masterclasses from successful entrepreneurs such as Martha Lane-Fox and Luke Johnson and have access to market research and a small budget – plus a cash investment for the winning team.
The ideas they will be working on include a sustainable fashion label, a smartphone app for dermatology patients and an advertising company making use of the mouse cursor.
I am confident that the ideas will make considerable progress over the next six weeks, and that the business leaders of tomorrow are taking their first steps to success. Stephan Shakespeare is the chief executive of YouGov