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Launchpad, proudly established by the London Institute of Business and Technology, stands at the forefront of nurturing entrepreneurial talent in the Isle of Man. Our initiative, crafted in collaboration with the Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce and supported by the Department of Enterprise, is the true embodiment of a startup ecosystem dedicated to fostering innovation and business success.

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Choosing Launchpad means selecting a partner who values your success as much as you do. Whether you're in the early stages of forming an idea or aiming to scale your startup, our comprehensive resources and personalised support are designed to propel you forward. We are here to help you navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship and celebrate each milestone along the way.

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Launchpad Excited for the 2024 Innovation Challenge

Launchpad is buzzing with excitement as we eagerly anticipate this year's Innovation Challenge. With innovation at the forefront of everything we do, we're thrilled to experience and an event that celebrates groundbreaking solutions and drives the growth of technical innovation in the Isle of Man.

Sixteen businesses from across the globe will face their industry peers on the 13 June, as they present cutting-edge solutions at the Isle of Man's highly anticipated ‘InnovationChallenge: Finale’ at the Comis Hotel.

The Challenge, aimed at promoting innovation and collaboration in a biosphere attracted a diverse range of applicants. Over 50 applications were received from 20 countries

Following a rigorous selection process, 16 finalists from countries such as the UK, Australia, Singapore and the USA were selected; offering solutions to some of the Island’s pressing needs within FinTech, Data & AI and Cleantech. In the lead up to the Finale day in June, finalists will be provided with tailored mentoring and support from the Island’s business leaders, as well as networking opportunities with industry peers as they bring their solutions to life.

Hon. Tim Johnston MHK,Minister for Enterprise said:

‘With the Isle of Man as a thriving hub for global innovators, we're thrilled by the diverse and ambitious applications for our most extensive Innovation Challenge yet. Our Island's dynamic ecosystem—bolstered by a supportive business community and experienced mentors – promises a rich landscape for pioneering solutions addressing sustainability, technology and financial challenges.

‘As we welcome this cohort, we're excited to foster ground breaking ideas aimed at driving technological advancements in the Isle of Man.’

The competition will culminate at a finale event on the Thursday 13 June, during which finalists will have the opportunity to present their solutions to an expert panel of judges, digital technology businesses and wider industry.

The event will include notable speakers from the industry and will be attended by key professionals in the financial, business, tourism and digital industries.

Winners in each category will receive local and international promotion and publicity, in addition to extended access to the Isle of Man's marketplace. This includes mentors, potential investors, and customers from various sectors, as well as regulators and government officers, for six months.

As the Isle of Man is also a UNESCO Biosphere, a special prize aligned with its biosphere status is also to be awarded.

Attendee registration for the Innovation Challenge: Finale will open on Thursday 9 May, with the event taking place at the Comis Hotel.

Further information about the Isle of Man Innovation Challenge can be found at: https://www.digitalisleofman.com/innovation-challenge-2024/.

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Earth Day on the Isle of Man: Events, Initiatives, and Gaia Installation

Earth Day, observed every April 22, is a global celebration that raises awareness about sustainability and advocates for environmental protection. Since its inception in 1970, the event has grown into a worldwide movement, with over 1 billion participants in 193 countries. The Isle of Man embraces Earth Day's mission by promoting sustainable practices and environmental conservation through various events and initiatives.

As an island community with a unique ecosystem, the Isle of Man has a strong connection to its natural environment. This makes Earth Day a crucial opportunity to highlight efforts to protect the island's beauty, reduce waste, and promote eco-friendly practices. Here are some of the key events and initiatives happening on the Isle of Man to celebrate Earth Day 2024:

  1. Beach Cleanups: Local environmental groups organize cleanups along the island's picturesque coastlines, gathering volunteers of all ages to remove trash and debris. These efforts protect marine life and maintain the island's scenic beauty.
  2. Tree Planting Initiatives: To promote reforestation and biodiversity, several groups host tree planting events. Participants contribute to the environment by planting native tree species, which help combat deforestation and provide habitats for wildlife.
  3. Educational Workshops and Talks: Earth Day on the Isle of Man includes workshops and talks focusing on sustainability, waste reduction, and energy conservation. Local experts share practical tips on reducing carbon footprints and adopting eco-friendly practices.
  4. Local Farmers' Markets: Supporting local agriculture and promoting sustainable food systems, these markets offer organic goods and artisanal products. By choosing local, the community helps reduce carbon emissions from transportation and supports sustainable agriculture.
  5. Environmental Art Exhibitions: Art plays a vital role in environmental awareness, and these exhibitions feature works that focus on nature, wildlife, and environmental themes. Local artists use various mediums to inspire attendees to consider their impact on the environment.

An additional highlight is the "Gaia" installation by UK artist Luke Jerram, on display at St Thomas' Church in Douglas from April 20 to May 12, 2024. This iconic illuminated globe, measuring six metres in diameter, uses detailed NASA imagery to provide a stunning three-dimensional view of Earth. Visitors can enjoy a surround sound composition by BAFTA-winning composer Dan Jones, with 45-minute sessions available throughout the day and select evening openings. Tickets are required, with day sessions free (donations welcome) and evening sessions priced at £3. For more information and booking details, visit Net Zero Isle of Man.

These Earth Day events and initiatives on the Isle of Man demonstrate the community's commitment to sustainability and environmental protection. They serve as a reminder that individual and collective actions, no matter how small, can significantly impact the future of our planet. Join the movement and make a difference in the journey toward a greener and more sustainable world.

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Celebrating Women in Tech with BCS

Launchpad recently had the honor of hosting an inspiring event dedicated to celebrating Women in Tech by the BCS Isle of Man. Held on March 27th, 2024, at our premises in Douglas, Isle of Man, this event brought together professionals, enthusiasts, and advocates from the tech community to recognise the achievements and contributions of women in the industry.

Highlighting Diversity and Inclusion

The event began with a poignant acknowledgment of the challenges and opportunities surrounding diversity and inclusion in the tech sector. Drawing from data presented in the BCS’ annual Diversity report, attendees gained insight into the pressing need for intervention to address the gender imbalance in the tech workforce. Through engaging discussions and presentations, attendees were encouraged to reflect on ways to promote diversity, equality, and inclusion within their organisations and the broader tech community.

Panel Discussion: Women Leading the Way

One of the highlights of the evening was a dynamic panel discussion featuring three remarkable women from the Isle of Man who are trailblazers in the tech industry:

  • Charlotte Davies: Head of Talent, Games Global
  • Lisa Karran: COO, Memory Lane Games; LoveTech
  • Shelley Langan-Newton: CEO, SQR

Moderated by Hazel Alvarado (ISC2 CC), Head of Partnerships & Data Protection Officer at KGC, the panelists shared their personal journeys, experiences, and insights as women in tech. From overcoming challenges to seizing opportunities, each panelist offered valuable perspectives on how women can thrive and make a significant impact in the tech sector.

Networking and Engagement

The event provided ample opportunities for networking and engagement, with doors opening at 5:30pm for attendees to connect with peers and industry professionals. Following the panel discussion, attendees continued to network and exchange ideas, forging new connections and fostering a sense of community within the tech ecosystem.

Looking Ahead

As we reflect on the success of the Women in Tech event at Launchpad, we are inspired by the passion, resilience, and innovation demonstrated by women in the tech industry. We remain committed to fostering a culture of diversity, inclusion, and empowerment within our community and beyond. Stay tuned for future events and initiatives as we continue to celebrate and support women in tech and work towards a more equitable and inclusive future for all.

Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to the success of the event. Together, let's empower women, embrace diversity, and drive positive change in the tech industry and beyond.

Keep up to date with future BCS events at Launchpad here!

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