Leon Watson & George Foster of Savi – wins YST London entrepreneurial prize fund

Young Start-up Talent (YST), an entrepreneurial initiative powered by NatWest and aimed at young entrepreneurs aged 16-25 years old, were honoured to host their London Showcase and first Gala Dinner for 2017 at the NatWest HQ in Bishops Gate, London on Thursday 21st September 2017.

 Leon Watson & George Foster of Savi

Leon Watson & George Foster of Savi

After months of hard work, business workshops and presentations, it was announced that Leon Watson & George Foster of Savi (savi-app.com) - were the lucky winners of the YST London ultimate entrepreneurial business prize fund of products and services to help take their business to the next level.

Savi, an online platform looking to disrupt the outdated loyalty card industry that allows users to accumulate loyalty points automatically when they spend through their mobile phone or by using debit/credit card driven transactional data. The app is currently being trialled in Nottingham were the duo have 30 large brands including Bella Italia and Ask Italian already signed up with a large uptake of users for the beta testing of the app which is looking to be set for success.

Following the announcement, Leon and George stated, “Unbelievable – to think a year ago this was just an idea at Uni and now we are standing here holding the prize fund with a functioning and working app.”

The pair went on to congratulate their fellow finalists. The duo now plans to focus on growing their business using the tools and advice given to them by Young Start up Talent, the Judges and sponsors.

Long term judge, mentor and accountant, Simon Maddox of Owadally & King commented; the quality of the candidates has been awesome – they are all winners in my eyes with massive potential for the winners Leon and George of Savi whom I look forward to working with.”

 Dary Gayler - NatWest - speaking at the event

Dary Gayler - NatWest - speaking at the event

Lead sponsor of the event was NatWest with speaker Daryl Gayler, Managing Director, South Region commenting; “Another fantastic evening spent celebrating with the finalists of Young Start Up Talent London 2017. At NatWest we are very proud to be associated with such a great initiative - supporting, mentoring and recognising the achievements of our young entrepreneurs. I never cease to be amazed by the passion, determination and energy they display in starting up their own businesses.

 Bill Morrow - Judge, Founder & CEO of Angels Den speaking at the event

Bill Morrow - Judge, Founder & CEO of Angels Den speaking at the event

Judge and also guest speaker at the event was Bill Morrow – Founder and CEO of Angels Den further adding – “Amazingly inspiring, a process where I have learnt as much from the start ups as they have from the experienced professionals. The whole experience is uplifting and one I am proud to be part of.”

Young Start-up Talent was also honoured to welcome past winners from other regions to the event with some sharing their experiences to the audience such as successful artist Stephanie Kane, Dean Day of Greenlight Games and Ben Jeffries of Influencer.   

 Previous winners - left to right back row (Dean Day, Ben Jeffries, Stephanie Kane, Tom Orchard, Harry Daymond, Jeremy Mutebi Luzinda - front row - Matt Turner, Leon Watson, George Foster and Lorraine Nugent)

Previous winners - left to right back row (Dean Day, Ben Jeffries, Stephanie Kane, Tom Orchard, Harry Daymond, Jeremy Mutebi Luzinda - front row - Matt Turner, Leon Watson, George Foster and Lorraine Nugent)

Also on the judging panel and presenting at the showcase this year was were the two founding partners of the initiative Lorraine Nugent and Matt Turner.

As well as the winners, the other finalists, who also impressed the judges with their professional pitches, included:

 Left to right - Akran Allam, Tade Fadairo, Leon Watson, Aftaab Allam, George Foster, Ibiere Banigo and Diana Florescu

Left to right - Akran Allam, Tade Fadairo, Leon Watson, Aftaab Allam, George Foster, Ibiere Banigo and Diana Florescu

TADE FADAIRO & KIMBERLEY MOYO | CREATIMATCH

CreatiMatch - an ideas and skills matching platform exclusively for university students. It connects students in different locations with ideas that have the willingness and expertise to contribute effectively in order to establish founding teams.

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AFTAAB ALLAM & AKRAM ALLAM | ECOSMART

TheEcoSmart is the UK’s first on-demand, eco-friendly, mobile car wash app. Customers can request and Pay for all services on their app, website and over the phone. Using their eco-friendly solution with a Bespoke Nano-spraying technology and versatile branded smart cars they provide their services to customers in London. TheEcoSmart uses 93% less water than the average car wash with minimal water runoffs and no splashes.

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IBIERE BANIGO | ZOO TOWN

Zoo Town is a forward thinking online platform that connects students from universities across London with employment opportunities. With more than 558,000 young students aged 18-24 in the UK facing unemployment, Zoo Town aims to tackle and change this forever. With all payments being taken online and paid directly to the student, Zoo Town aims to revolutionise the way students and employers find the jobs and support that they need.

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DIANA FLORESCU | LOCAL SPOON

Local Spoon is a web application for last-minute price drops on independent restaurants in Central London. Their innovation is to merge the online last-minute services with the offline casual dining. The App is using geo-location targeting to only promote offers at tables that would otherwise remain empty – thus representing an opportunity for the business to reduce waste and reach a wider market.

 The room at the showcase and Gala dinner - NatWest HQ

The room at the showcase and Gala dinner - NatWest HQ

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:

NatWest

Angels Den

Gatwick Airport

Owadally & King

Wildwood PR

Minuteman Press

Croydon Chamber of Commerce

Creative Group

Creative Pod

Beta Futures

Fastsigns

Young Enterprise

Sussex Innovation

Hands On It

BVP

Nacue