Left to right: Laura Bayliss; Mayor of Newbury, Andy Moore; Headteacher, Mrs Badarello; Hasna Zaher, Innovate UK

On Monday 8 July, Theale Green School hosted an unveiling event to celebrate former pupil and tech founder, Laura Bayliss who has been awarded a prestigious purple plaque from the Government’s UK innovation agency, Innovate UK. Last year she won a Women in Innovation award and £50,000 grant for her innovation at tech-for-good company, TimeTrove.

TimeTrove is an innovative new Manchester based tech-for-good startup set to revolutionise the way people record/treasure/share their digital lives in a more meaningful, life-affirming and less transient way. The interactive new digital platform enables users to upload, sort, create, curate and share their most precious digital content, stories and messages via an interactive stylish user interface, highly complex back end and scalable cloud-based infrastructure.

The purple plaque was unveiled at the main entrance of Theale Green School, where Laura was a pupil from 1990-1997.

The Mayor of Newbury, Andy Moore, gave a speech congratulating Laura, having been an engineer himself with a keen interest in innovation; he said he was ‘delighted’ to be here for the unveiling and learn more about TimeTrove. Also present for the unveiling was Hasna Zaher from Innovate UK, and a group of students, to whom Laura gave an inspirational presentation about her professional journey showing how rewarding it can be following a career path in something you’re passionate about, as well as finding your purpose.

Laura’s personal journey was equally inspiring, how she’s dealt with chronic pain, loss and the death of many loved ones over several decades demonstrates her resilience and incredible ability to use negative experiences as motivation for positive change. Her commitment to building a tech team and business from scratch to bring TimeTrove to fruition showcases her ingenuity, business acumen, leadership skills and dedication to societal good.

Laura’s professional achievements have already been recognised with awards in differing industries including Engineering, Lighting, Design, Art, Architecture and most recently, Tech.

The Innovation UK award recognises outstanding contributions from women in the field of innovation. The purple plaque is Innovate UK’s twist on the blue plaques that commemorate influential and pioneering historic figures. Currently, just 15% of blue plaques in London celebrate the achievements of women, with a similar story throughout the rest of the UK. This highlights a national issue of the underrepresentation of women in the media, the workplace and in the education system, resulting in a lack of relatable role models for children and young people.

Charlotte Badarello, Headteacher, is confident the plaque will inspire pupils at the school and local areas to follow in Laura’s footsteps.

“Laura’s story is inspirational for students and staff alike,” she said.

“She has overcome adversity and achieved something that will have a lasting effect on so many people, particularly children. I am really proud that every day our students will see the plaque to remind them of her achievements and will inspire them to go on to do the same.”

Mayor of Newbury, Cllr Andy Moore, said: “I was inspired, like many others, by Laura’s story; her determination to press on despite setbacks and her imagination and leadership in her career.  I am sure that her example will encourage others, especially those studying STEM subjects (as I did).  A truly deserved reward marked through the Purple Plaque.”

Laura, the founder of TimeTrove, is a passionate businesswoman dedicated to using technology to address societal issues and create positive social impact for people of any age race or religion. Reflecting on her achievement, Laura said: “It’s a real honour to have a purple plaque unveiled at my school, to receive this level of recognition from Innovate UK, while we’re still pre-launch, shows we must be doing something special!

“We really hope that TimeTrove can start a movement to inspire young people of this age range and society in general to document and record their lives in a more meaningful, authentic, less transient way within a life-affirming, ethical, digital platform, free from judgement or fear of negative comments; a positive place to focus on real life not ‘likes’.”

The students were enthusiastic hearing about Laura’s journey and the TimeTrove application, with Katherine saying: “I’ll definitely use it – I have so many pictures it will be great to select the best and keep them secure.”

Milanna said: “Technology is developing so fast – this a great way to keep memories in one place so you don’t lose them.”

Lleyton said: “I like that people who are older or terminally ill are being thought about with this app.”

The purple plaque event not only celebrates Laura’s achievements but also aims to inspire future innovators. She has already mentored over 100 university students and hopes that through this award and more role modelling she can encourage more women into entrepreneurship, STEM and the tech industry.

TimeTrove will enable people of all ages to create and curate their digital legacy, and treasure their most precious moments, memories, memoirs or mementos in a life-affirming innovative way.  The application will be launched publicly later this year, so you can all start filling your own TimeTrove for free very soon!

To sign up to the waiting list or find out more, visit www.timetrove.com