On Thursday 19th January 2017 seven young entrepreneurs gathered at the Quakers Friends Meeting House, Brighton, to pitch their exciting business a panel of six fiery judges. The Young Start-up Talent (YST) initiative started in early July, allowing young entrepreneurs aged between 16-25 years old to enter their business ideas, in the hopes of being named the winner of a prize fund of business products and services worth £50,000.
After successfully making it through the first stage, the entrepreneurs were then invited to participate in a business-know how workshop before they were thrown into the deep end at a speed-networking event with a selection of sponsors and business professionals. From there, only five businesses made it through to The Pitch.
The judges consisted of six business individuals and included: Ana Christie, CEO of the Sussex Chamber of Commerce; Gary Chown, Regional Director of NatWest for Brighton and Hove; Dan Simpson, Partner at Hartley Fowler LLP; Rob Nunn, President of Future Capital L.P. and Strategic Director of Young Start-up Talent; Matt Turner, CEO of Creative Pod and Founding Partner of YST; and finally, Lorraine Nugent, MD of Media Word Waves and Founding Partner of YST.
Ana Christie stated; “I was really impressed by the candidates. They were extremely professional in the way they presented their pitch, as it can be very daunting presenting in front of a panel and answering some very difficult questions.”
Gary Chown of NatWest, and judge, also commented; “The quality was excellent and they all presented very well. The businesses are all high quality and it was very hard to pick a winner.”
The young entrepreneurs pitching to be named the winner of Brighton 2017 included:
Jack Maddalena, with his Virtual Reality company ‘VR Drop and Share’, a free platform where you can upload your 360˚ photos, enabling you to create your own VR experience. It is also the first VR that allows two or more people to be in the VR space together at the same time.
Georgia Crawford, with Daubs and Dashes, an independent scarf studio, which creates unique, organic, fair-trade silk scarves that are hand painted with original artwork. Georgia commented; “YST has been a really great opportunity that has pushed me to take my business to the next level.”
George Lengyel, with Hubbub, a revolutionary social network and app that connects people at events, venues and other locations, allowing people in the same area to interact with others through sharing pictures, making posts, purchasing items from on-site vendors and much more.
Andreas Georgiades, with his company Brighton Greeks, which connects the Greek and Cypriot communities in the wider Brighton area. Andreas stated; “This has been a great experience and I have learnt a lot. It is the first time I’ve written a business plan and it has really made me focus on the true vision and future for the business.”
And finally, a group of young entrepreneurs, Ardie Yilinkou, Junior Fassim and Gabriel Meidt, with their business ‘Talentbookr’, the first digital booking agent in the UK market for upcoming artists and creatives.
Dan Simpson, from Hartley Fowler, finished the evening by saying; “There was a really impressive variety of ideas. All of the candidates were at similar standard and I was very impressed with their presentations. I am looking forward to the final!”
Many thanks go to the team at Young Start-up Talent who work behind the scenes with the finalists, calming their nerves and preparing them for the formal pitches. Special thanks also go to the film and AV crew, for ensuring the presentations filming ran smoothly.
The fifth winner of the Young Start-up Talent initiative for Brighton will be announced on Wednesday 15th February 2017 on stage at the Platform in Brighton. The judge’s decision will see who will walk away with the prize fund worth up to £50,000 worth of business products and services to help progress their business.
To find out more please visit: www.youngstartuptalent.co.uk
Sponsors involved in this year’s Brighton’s initiative include: