On Thursday 13th July, eight eager young entrepreneurs pitched to six judges at Southampton Solent University for a chance to walk away with prize pot worth of business products and services to help progress their businesses.
After previously impressing the judges at a speed networking event, the five finalists were chosen to continue their journey with the initiative and give a formal presentation of their business plans to the judges.
Caroline Barfoot – Head of Employability and Student Enterprise at Southampton Solent University said “We are delighted to be a sponsor of the competition this year and to host the finalist pitches inside the Pod at the new Spark Building. This is such an amazing opportunity for young entrepreneurs to receive feedback and support for their business start-ups from experts in their field. We are really proud that two of the businesses are from Solent University – encouraging enterprise is at the heart of everything we do and its wonderful to see students on our MA Creative Enterprise getting into the finals.
Making up the judge’s panel this year is, Chris Allington of Oxford Innovation, Cheryl Gourlay of NatWest, Royston Smith MP for Southampton, Paul Stacey of IQ Business Consulting and co-Founders of Young Start-Up Talent, Matt Turner and Lorraine Nugent.
Chris Allington of Oxford Innovation commented; “I was impressed by the passion, commitment and clear preparation from all those that pitched, they all demonstrated real entrepreneurial talent.”
Paul Stacey of IQ Business Consulting added; "I was amazed at how confidently the five finalists pitched for the prize pot. We didn’t make it too easy on them - there were some tough questions from the judges. The variety of ideas made it quite tricky to compare candidates - it was great fun and I am confident they will all go on to be a great success in the business world.”
Cheryl Gourlay of NatWest reflected on the evening, saying; “Young Start-Up talent plays a key role in the entrepreneurial landscape, celebrating those who are already on the road to success and encouraging those who are taking their first steps on the journey. It was great to see the entrepreneurial spirit, drive and enthusiasm from the Young Entrepreneurs during their pitches and I wish them all luck for the next stage.”
The budding entrepreneurs that presented and in the running for the YST Hampshire 2017 prize fund are:
Tom Fowler and Chris Key, with ‘The Designer Toolkit’ – offering a suite of online tools to streamline design workflow, improve client interaction and make more money. Chris added, “I thought it was a great experience and I believe our pitch went well.”
Ming Wu, with ‘The Maker’s Guild’ – a creative studio environment for anyone, individuals, groups and small businesses to use to create physical things using the latest in prototyping technologies, such as 3D Printers and Desktop CNC.
Jeremy Luzinda, with ‘JeremyMutebi’ – creating ensembles formed of separates from retailers meticulously put together.
Jonathan Tellyn and Adam Stannard, with ‘Innobox Design’ – a graphic design agency, specialising in branding, marketing tools and promotional materials.
Natasha Tiffin and Alice Dixon, with ‘Seek a Word’ – an app and office to provide businesses/customers with regular or singular translation. The girls commented, “We have had such a great experience so far with our time with Young Start up. We have learnt so much!”.
Young Start-Up Talent would like to take this chance to thank those who were working behind-the-scenes to ensure that every part of the event was running smoothly.
The winner of the prize fund and the Hampshire round 2017, will be announced on Thursday 14th September at the Winchester Science and Planetarium.
The sponsors involved with this year’s Hampshire initiative are:
UNLOC Enterprise Academy
Fareham Innovation Centre
Ocean Village Innovation Centre
Hampshire Chamber of Commerce
1st Computer Services
Space to Trade
All Star Marketing
Media Word Waves
Southampton Solent University
IQ Business Consulting
Winchester Science & Planetarium
The Creative Group
To find out more, please visit: www.youngstartuptalent.co.uk