Pitches to professionals prove Croydon to be home of Business Flair

Selected finalists for business initiative, Young Start-up Talent (YST), gathered at Jury’s Inn Croydon to pitch in front of panel of professionals in a bid to be crowned this year’s Croydon YST winner. The initiative, designed for 16-25 year olds, works across six different regions and is now in its second year working in Croydon, looking for the next set of young entrepreneurs.

After the projects first year in Croydon saw winner and artist Stephanie Kane rise to success, judges are eager to find the latest business idea destined to advance in the Croydon area.

Six bright young minds stepped up to the plate this week, with four business pitches set to impress. After being accepted into the semi-final 121 speed networking stage, a final four businesses were chosen to take on the judges at the final. After polishing their enterprises over the following weeks, finalists pitched to a panel of judges made up of Simon Maddox – Owadally and King, James Booker – Croydon Advertiser, Lorraine Nugent – Media Word Waves, Ben Towers – Social Marley, Matt Turner – Creative Pod, Mark Burgess – Natwest and Salim Sonjee – Cripps. Commenting on his first time on the panel, Salim said “I was incredibly impressed by the quality of pitches tonight. It’s great to see the young talent of Croydon showcasing what they can do.”

Finalists included:

Seventeen year old Kurtis Peck with his green energy company, Peck Energy, creating an eco-friendly concept to be installed across new builds.

Duo, Harry Flaherty and Maddie Alison, who have come up with an app-based platform named Kitch, to pair busy families and individuals with their own affordable, personal chef.

Twenty-Two year olds, Laurence Grant and Robert O’Sullivan, who pitched their business – Shaking Hands Interactive Partnership, a platform for Croydon-based small-medium business owners to grow their businesses. 

Croydon College student, Serena Evans entered the initiative with a game animation to help people who are suffering from mental health issues. She said “This whole experience has just been fantastic. I’ve enjoyed it from start to finish and has some really useful feedback for my business.”

Mark Burgess of Natwest reflected on the performance of the evening saying “Tonight’s contestants have shown a fantastic amount of entrepreneurial flair. I am eager to see all of their businesses grow following their experience with YST.” Simon Maddox of Owadally and King said “It’s been extremely rewarding to see how far these young entrepreneurs have come since the last stage of the process and I’m sure they will continue to excel.”

On July 7th the winner will be revealed at the grand showcase taking place at Fairfield Halls, marking one of its final events before the venue closure. The winner will walk away with a £50k prize fund made up of business products and services, all donated by local sponsors, to see their business take flight.

To find out more about the initiative please visit www.youngstartuptalent.co.uk