16 – 25 Year Olds Pitch Business Ideas to Business Professionals in London

 YST London candidates and judges and sponsors of the initiative at NatWest offices in Bank, London getting ready to pitch.

YST London candidates and judges and sponsors of the initiative at NatWest offices in Bank, London getting ready to pitch.

Young Start-up Talent is a community-based initiative supported by NatWest for young entrepreneurs aged 16 – 25 where they can pitch their business ideas across London and the South East.  The victorious business will win a prize fund of business products and services to help kick start and progress their business.

Five businesses in the London region have now been selected from a high energy evening of speed networking and are one step closer to winning the prize fund of business products and services.

 YST London speednetworking underway

YST London speednetworking underway

Over a hundred submissions from all across London were made to Young Start-up Talent after holding workshops at schools, colleges and universities across the region. Twenty-five were then selected to attend a workshop, which led to thirteen contestants being further picked to attend the semi-finals, held at the NatWest offices in Princes Street, Bank. Five contestants out of thirteen, will go forth to pitch their ideas on the 20th of July to a panel of judges at Bishops Gate.

 YST London semi finalists at the speednetworking event - NatWest offices in Bank

YST London semi finalists at the speednetworking event - NatWest offices in Bank

Twenty judges, sponsor and supporters attended the event to hear the contestant’s ideas for their start-ups.

The judges and sponsors that attended are all business professionals including Phil Hall, Nick Howe and Ben Chubb of NatWest, Alison Addy of Gatwick Airport, Alan White of Fastsigns, Terence Nell and Ricardo of Minute Man Press, Marie Harris of Beta Futures, Matt Turner of Creative Pod, Lorraine Nugent Media Word Waves, Rob Nunn Echo, Tim of BVP, Bill Marrow of Angels Den in addition to two former winners of the prize fund - Stephanie Kane and Ben Jeffries of Influencer.

Candidates came from all across London from universities such as LSE, Imperial, Brunel, Westminster and Greenwich. In addition to others that live in London but attend universities elsewhere such as Bangor, Nottingham, Lancaster, Norwich and Cambridge to present their start-ups to judges in 10 short minutes whilst others heard about the initiative through other sources.

 Phil Hall, the regional director of NatWest chatting to Terence Nell of Minute Man Press.

Phil Hall, the regional director of NatWest chatting to Terence Nell of Minute Man Press.

Phil Hall, regional director of NatWest for London commented “a great evening with entrepreneurs of the future and delighted that the standard was high from this talented generation”.

Alison Addy, Head of Community Engagement for Gatwick Airport further commented “It was great to meet so many passionate young entrepreneurs during the evening. So many strong business ideas with real entrepreneurial flair”.

After much discussion and contemplating, the final five have been chosen for the next round of the competition which will be held at the NatWest offices in 250 Bishops Gate.                                                                                                

The five finalists have been named as CreatiMatch (Tade Fadairo and Kimberley Mayo), The EcoSmart (Aftaab Allam and Akram Allam), Zoo Town (Ibere Banigo), Metadrift (Nick Scweitzer) and Savi (George Foster and Leon Watson).

CreatiMatch - a student networking application that matches those with enterprise/project ideas with those who have the skills to contribute effectively and allows students to network with like-minded students across the UK.

Eco Smart is the first of its kind in the UK, an eco-friendly mobile car wash App on-demand that uses 93% less water than an average car wash.

Zoo Town provides an online platform that connects university students in London with paid employment opportunities.

Metadrift based is the first AI-powered researched tool targeted exclusively at innovators. It enables users to analyse the patterns of innovation across their industry to gain inspiration to tackle similar problems.

Savi is a platform that replaces the traditional reward scheme, providing a mobile application where loyalty points are accumulated automatically and when they spend using their mobile phone or debit/credit cards.

Stephanie Kane, the 2015 Young Start-up Talent former winner who attended the event commented “EcoSmart really shone out with having a developed app” and “MetaDrift is a really great idea that I could imagine being really useful and influential, I really wanted to play around with and use it myself”.

 Edmond Mammy preparing his pitch to the judges. 

Edmond Mammy preparing his pitch to the judges. 

Edmond Mammy of Lend Wheels is a semi-finalist and said “Even though I am disappointed to not make it through to next round, I do not take this as a failure but rather a prelude to a great success, and grateful to take away all the valuable knowledge and skills I have obtained, that will surely benefit me in the future.”

Diana Florescu of Local Spoons, another candidate expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to take part in Young Start-up Talent and wished the “best of luck to all the other contestants that have been selected to go through the final stage”.

The other semi-finalists that took part in the speednetworking evening and made it through to this round were as follows:

Uteepi - Cyril Balay, Vishnu Menon and Sebastien Baudin

Lend Wheels - Edmond Mammy

Like Locals - Constantinos Los

Exist - Valentine Nampigga

Octam - Orlando Miller

Local Spoons - Diana Florescu and Maxim Antoci

Maple & Muffins - Abigail Davis

Sponsor My Society - Jack Culpan

Young Start-up Talent would like to thank all those that took part and wish all candidates all the best for the future.

For more information please visit www.youngstartuptalent.co.uk.