Young Start-up Talent, an entrepreneurial initiative powered by NatWest and Oxford Innovation and aimed at young entrepreneurs aged 16-25 years old, were honoured to host their Hampshire Showcase for 2017 at Winchester Science and Planetarium Centre on Thursday 14th September 2017. After months of hard work, business workshops and presentations, it was announced that Jeremy Mutebi of J.M. Mutebi (@JeremyMutebi), an online stylist business and current student at Southampton University was the lucky winner of the ultimate entrepreneurial business prize fund of business products and services to help take the business to the next level.
Following the announcement, Jeremy stated, “I am shocked to have won the prize fund with such tough competition and feeling humbled– just before the announcement I spoke to my Mum on the phone – she said that she would pray to god for a positive outcome – I believe god answered her prayers.” Jeremy went on to congratulate his fellow finalists and offered them his help and support going forward.
Jeremy now plans to focus on growing his business using the tools and advice given to him by Young Start up Talent, the Judges and sponsors.
Richard May, Innovation Director at the three Hampshire centres of Oxford Innovation, said: “Jeremy is blessed with a vibrant personality that captivates everyone he pitches his well-thought-out ideas to. He has carefully researched the menswear market in the UK, has a remarkable talent to pick out clothing combinations from high street retailers of all price points and understands how to use social media, such as Instagram, to generate customers in this growing space. We look forward to mentoring and helping Jeremy finesse his business plan and financial forecasts in the coming year.
Cheryl Gourlay – Strategic lead for young entrepreneurs for NatWest and judge commented “NatWest has a strong history of working UK-wide with young people to find, develop and unlock talent. We are passionate about helping to support young people with skills that will allow them to flourish in later life, whether that’s working for someone else or setting up their own business.
Young Start-up Talent was also honoured to welcome guest speakers Chris Allington Chairman of Oxford Innovation, Cheryl Gourlay – Strategic Lead for Young Entrepreneurs of NatWest and Royston Smith - Conservative MP for Southampton Itchen Constituency.
Royston Smith MP said “It was a privilege to be involved in this year's Young Start Up Talent. I was really impressed with all the young people that entered and particularly those that made it through to the final round. The judges found it almost impossible to choose one winner from such a talented group. However, Jeremy Mutebi impressed us all and pipped the other finalists to the post. His mixture of style, innovation and personality will, I'm sure mean we will all be seeing a lot more from him in the future and I wish him good luck on his entrepreneurial journey."
Also on the judging panel this year was Paul Stacey of IQ Business Consulting Ltd -Charted Accountants, who has also worked alongside the finalists to help with their financials going through the process and said, “I have enjoyed working and listening with the high calibre contestants, all their pitches were amazing.” The other two judges were the two founding partners of the initiative Lorraine Nugent and Matt Turner.
As well as the winner, the other finalists, who also impressed the judges with their professional pitches, included:
MING WU of THE MAKERS GUILD and based in Portsmouth. The Maker’s Guild provides the opportunity to develop skills and ideas to make, innovate and collaborate within a space that facilitates making and sharing as part of a creative community. Ming said “The YST process has kicked up a gear to get things done.”
TOM FOWLER & CHRIS KEY of DESIGNER TOOLKIT and based in Southampton. After spotting ways to make designers and their clients’ lives easier, The Designer Toolkit was set up, offering a suite of online tools to streamline design workflow, improve client interaction and make more money. Their products include: A brand asset management and sharing platform to ensure correct logos, fonts and colours are used.
NATASHA TIFFIN & ALICE DIXON of SEEK A WORD and based in Portsmouth. Seek a Word uses new technology for language communications. Their app and office seeks to provide businesses/customers with regular or singular translation. The girls commented “A mind blowing experience that really made us think deeply about the business.”
JONATHAN TELLYN & ADAM STANNARD of INNOBOX DESIGN also based in Southampton. Innobox Design is a graphic design agency based in Southampton, UK. Specialising in branding, marketing tools, 3D imagery and promotional materials. “We found that the pitching part of the process was highly beneficial – we found that also found watching and talking to the other candidates that we learnt a lot”.
Founding Partners of the initiative Lorraine Nugent and Matt Turner further added "we have had a terrific year and feel humbled to have worked alongside so many youngsters with such exciting futures ahead of them and wish them all well. We would like to thank all our candidates, judges and sponsors for making it all possible as without their support and generosity Young Start-up Talent would not exist.
To find out more please visit www.youngstartuptalent.co.uk
Sponsors of this year’s initiative included: