WILL.I.AM is teaming up with British royal PRINCE ANDREW to equip U.K. youngsters with cutting edge technology skills.
The Duke of York is behind the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (IDEA) initiative which seeks to provide young people with expertise in areas such as coding, computing and marketing to help them launch their own business.
The Black Eyed Peas hitmaker forged a partnership with the prince following a meeting at Buckingham Palace where the two struck up a conversation about the need to provide opportunities for city teenagers.
The rapper tells TV show Good Morning Britain, "I got invited to Buckingham Palace where Prince Andrew was there and I was so over the moon and full of excitement and I was telling him, 'Young kids in the cities, we need to find opportunities for them'... I didn't think that conversation would follow up with 'Hey let's partner up'!"
The Duke of York adds, "I thought, 'Well, here's somebody who has the similar viewpoint as me, who knows more about the digital world than I do'... If we don't give young people the skills to be able to work in this environment they are going to feel more ostracised than they may or may not be today."
The project will provide 20 teams of youngsters with the chance to pitch their ideas for a digital business to a panel of experts, with three finalist teams being handed $25,500 to launch a start-up company.