The journey of a Longitude Explorer

Two previous Longitude Explorer applicants reveal what it was like to take part in one of our previous Prizes.

In 2017 we came across an extraordinary opportunity to enter the Longitude Explorer Prize co-hosted by IBM and Nesta. Upon hearing this exciting opportunity, we were eager to start brainstorming our ideas and we were certain about our decision to enter. 

After a long session with careful consideration and constructive feedback from Ms Newell, who guided us throughout our project, we agreed on an idea to develop an electric water bottle. We spent our lunchtimes and after school to develop our product plan which required a lot of dedication and perseverance. We were required to fill out a Longitude Explorer Workbook which included a product plan, paper prototype, customer experiences and much more. 

We spent our lunchtimes and after school to develop our product plan which required a lot of dedication and perseverance

For our customer experience, we created surveys that consisted of various questions such as their water intake, their wellbeing after drinking water and reasons why they may not drink water. Using this data, we were able to present our statistics and explain why our product is needed which was a key question mentioned throughout the competition. 

For our paper prototype, we used our resources around us and asked for assistance from subject professionals from departments such as art and science. We would have liked to have created a 3D prototype, however, it was easier and more accessible for us to make a paper prototype for our product and an electric water bottle and a prototype for the app. 

It was a very inspiring experience that has widened our knowledge and passion for technology

After a week of creating and practicing our pitch in preparation for our final presentation, we made our way to the venue at the IBM headquarters. We were warmly welcomed by various IBM and Nesta employees and after a while, the pitches begun. Our pitch was a big success, and we were very proud with how it went. We feel like our electric prototype perhaps wasn’t quite as strong as we would have liked it to be, but nonetheless, we received really great feedback on our idea.

However, it was a very inspiring experience that has widened our knowledge and passion for technology. We achieved a greater understanding of what investors look for in a product and how to apply business and tech skills to create a successful product and publish it. 

This is a guest blog written by team H’n’B from Harris Academy Bermondsey in London.

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