Youth of Croydon Pitch to Leading Business Bods

Croydon’s Jury’s Inn played host to the Young Start-up Talent speed networking event which saw an array of young entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a group leading business professionals.

Young Start-up Talent is an initiative for 16-25 year olds with entrepreneurial flair and a hunger to see their vision become a reality.  The process offers mentoring and coaching sessions, offering the winning entrepreneur a prize fund worth £50k of products and services to go towards their first year of business. Business men and women from the local area gathered at Jurys Inn on 28th of April to decide which entrepreneur and business showed the most promise.

With ideas ranging from home cooking apps and animation right though to entertainment agencies and an innovative green energy product, the evening was packed with a host of ideas. Simon Maddox of Owadally and King said “This year is interesting because the businesses seem far ahead, I’ve been really impressed with the standard I’ve seen tonight. I’m really looking forward to seeing the businesses flourish as they progress onto the next stages of the process.”

Entrepreneurs were each placed on a numbered table along with their business plans and presentations before undergoing two hours of pitch deliveries to experts from various fields. Business professionals set out to advise and aid the aspiring entrepreneurs on how to best grow their plan into a business before scoring each pitch in a bid to decide who would be moving on in the process.  Mark Burgess of NatWest and judge said “The entrepreneurial flair was there across the board. It was so nice to see a variety of concepts and ideas and after tonight they’ve got some great input and something to work on.”

As deliberations went deep into the night, judges settled on a final five to enter the ultimate stage of the process where finalists will deliver polished pitches to a panel who will decide the winner of Croydon’s 2016 Young Start-up Talent. Contestants will learn in the coming weeks whether they have been successfully chosen to face the judges on the 9th of June and the person walking away with the prize fund will be announced on the 7th July at Fairfield Halls – marking one of the last events before its planned closure of two years for refurbishment.

The initiative has 140 sponsors across the South East – those that took part in the speednetworking event included:

Gatwick Airport


Owadally & King

Minute Man Press

Oxford Innovation

Media Word Waves



Structured Communications

Frost Group

Beta Futures

Whiston Solutions

Creative Pod

Social Marley

Strong Flavours

Croydon Chamber of Commerce


The entrepreneurs chosen to compete in the evening were selected from around the Borough with the youngest being 16 to graduates of 25 and included:

Aisha Williams

Chanelle Jordan

Serena Evans

Kartik Joshi

Andrew Lori-Skin

Kurt Peck

Madeleine Ellison

Harry Flaherty

Laurence Grant

Robert O’Sullivan

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