Scottish students dared to be digital

February 22, 2002

A leading Scottish entrepreneur has urged students to enter a competition aimed at creating the future stars of Scotland's digital economy.

Chris van der Kuyl, 32, president of Vis Entertainment, which created the blockbusting computer game State of Emergency , launched the 2002 Dare to be Digital competition for students in Scottish universities and art colleges.

Teams can develop an idea for a digital product over ten weeks in the summer, at the University of Abertay Dundee.

Mr van der Kuyl, recently appointed visiting professor in digital entertainment at Abertay, said: "So far as we know, this is a unique initiative in the world. The students get a salary and direct mentoring from some of the best brains in the business."

The teams are helped by programming and digital mentors, and business experts. Matthew Bett, one of last year's winners, said: "Business training was one area we had no idea about at all, because we were all programmers. It was definitely invaluable."

Mr Bett's five-member team has set up a multimedia software development company, Inverse Cinematics, in Abertay's graduate business incubator, Embreonix.


* A student team from Aberdeen and Dundee universities won top prize in the first round of the Scottish Institute for Enterprise nat-ional business plan competition.
Intelliflame Systems aims to develop an intelligent sensor capable of monitoring and tackling fires of different substances.

The runners-up were an Edinburgh University team that planned to develop a new type of ski, using innovative materials technology, and a Glasgow University team whose concept is a device to help elderly people and people with visual disabilities to find lost items.

A total of 21 teams have been selected to go on to the competition's second round, with the winners being awarded £10,000 to help them start a business.

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