Aspiring young entrepreneurs from across the Kent region are competing for a prize fund worth upto £50,000 to go towards their first year of business. Young Start-up Talent is an initiative built for 16 -25 year olds who are looking to move their start-ups off the ground and into the business world. The bright minds gathered at the Business Terrace, Maidstone House at the Gateway on the 22nd June, where they were met by an assembly of business professionals from all over Kent for a 121 speed networking session.
The initiative is sponsored by 140 sponsors who all contribute to the prize fund across the South East with Town & Country Housing Group and NatWest being headline sponsors for the Kent region.
After submitting their business ideas online and following an initial workshop, eight successful applicants were chosen to attend a business know-how workshop in the first stage towards growing their companies in preparation for the pitches ahead. With only ten minutes per sponsor, the Business Terrace was flooded with entrepreneurial flair as the young talent pitched for their places in the final.
Dara Chauhan of NatWest and judge commented “I was really impressed by the quality of the business ideas that were presented to us this evening. It is a treat to see such an incredible amount of enthusiasm in one room.” The evening saw ideas ranging from handmade jewellery right through to a social media agency and healthy lifestyle brands.
Also on the judging panel is Simon Warne from Crowe Clark Whitehill who commented “Some of these ideas are already flying, some of those ventures are already businesses and some of them are more ideas, but nearly all have good commercial possibilities.” Pete Kenyon of Cripps added “This is my fourth year taking part and I’m always very interested to see the vast range of ideas that come out, this year has been very diverse.”
A final five will be going through to the ‘Dragons Den’ style stage of the process, where they will each pitch their refined business plans to a panel of judges in a bid to decide who will be crowned 2016 Kent’s Young Start-up Talent winner. The showcase is set to take place at Gulbenkian Theatre on the 15th of September where it will be announced who will be walking away with the prize fund to see their business take flight.
To find out more please visit: www.youngstartuptalent.co.uk
The eight candidates involved in the process were:
Kelly Culver - Dover – age 20
Johnathan Wood – Rainham – age 16
Ben Jefferies– Tunbridge Wells – age 20
Chloe MacKeon – Ramsgate – age 18
Shantal Charles – Medway – age 18
Joice Joseph – Maidstone – age 17
Serena Christie – Tunbridge Wells – age 23
Edoardo Abati – Canterbury – age 24
Sponsors involved in this year’s Kent initiative include: