Could you be the next Richard Branson?

Are you sitting on the next big business idea that could change the world? Or simply one that could change your future? Then what are you waiting for? Young Start-up Talent is looking for young entrepreneurs aged between 16-25 years old with a passion for business and the drive to run their own company, whatever that may be. You could win a prize fund worth up to £50,000 of business products and services donated by both local and national businesses, giving you everything you need to kick-start your business.

Whether you want to apply as an individual, or part of a group up to five people, we want to hear from you! The closing date for applications is Sunday 18th December, 2016. All successful candidates will then be contacted via email, inviting them to participate in the project. To enter now, please go to http://youngstartuptalent.co.uk

But remember, it’s not just about the prize fund. Once accepted onto the process, our candidates have the opportunity to meet a huge range of business individuals, including professionals from NatWest, Richard Place Dobson, Thales, Gatwick Airport, Avensys and many, many more. Along with our very own Marketing agency, Creative Pod, and PR agency, Media Word Waves, you will be able to build up your network to promote your business idea to the local and national community.

You may like to check out our short video of the process

With Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) approaching, now is the perfect time to take your future into your own hands. From Monday 14th – Sunday 20th November, we will be hosting a number of events across Sussex, including a workshop at Sussex University and at many of the local sixth forms and colleges within the area including both Central Sussex College campuses. We hope to see as many budding young entrepreneurs with a flair for business!

Last years winners of the Gatwick Diamond region, JubyLee Bakes – a group of six inspirational young entrepreneurs with the tag line ‘special bakes made by special people’ – have recently obtained kitchens in Horsham, started selling their cakes to a very well-known airline and hotel chain aswell as speaking and exhibiting at various trade fairs and business events. They enjoyed the guidance, encourage and support that the Young Start-up Talent initiative has provided them with. Simon Tomlinson, one of the JubyLee Bakes team, commented, “the judges, sponsors and YST team have all been extremely helpful, it was such an exciting process”.

So, what have you got to lose? Apply now at http://youngstartuptalent.co.uk or contact us to find out more information on: admin@youngstartuptalent.co.uk We look forward to hearing from you!

20 year old influencer gains over £100k worth of investment for his business within 24 hours

                                               Ben Jeffries of Influencer – YST Kent 2016 Winner

                                               Ben Jeffries of Influencer – YST Kent 2016 Winner

Ben Jeffries, a 20 year old student from Tunbridge Wells with his business ‘Influencer’, has achieved their target on CrowdCube of £100k worth of investment within the first 24 hours of going public. Influencer connects brands with famous individuals on social media, who they call ‘Influencers’. The campaign has thus far gained 123 investments from as little as £10 through to larger amounts of £10,000 and is already in the overfunded stage.

Ben commented “I felt quietly confident that I would achieve the investment but didn’t quite expect to hit the target within the first 24 hours – I had spent weeks planning a massive marketing plan but as soon as we launched, it became clear we didn’t need to use it”

Having been shortlisted for the Virgin VOOM Start-up awards early on in the year where he participated in a world record live pitchathon and then went on to win the local entrepreneurial initiative ‘Young Start-up Talent’ £50,000 prize fund for Kent 2016.

The influencers are able to generate an organic buzz for the brands they work with. They have a variety of Influencers on their books including top names such as world football star Ronaldinho and realty TV star Amy Willerton, however their main focus is with micro Influencers – those Influencers with followers of between 10,000 and 50,000. In the short time that Influencer has been operating they have worked with a number of large brands such as Badoo, Uber, Triangl, Crowdmobile and Southbeach Swimwear.

The app developers started the work needed to automate the process in September and will take a large chunk of the investment but the remainder will help to deliver a targeted marketing campaign and employ additional staff.

“Through the development of the new web application, we believe we will have the capacity to work with 100x more Influencers through a more efficient CRM system”. Ben added “An increased database of Influencers will provide greater variety and choice for brands as to who they use to promote themselves. The web application will also provide brands with more detailed analytics and access to legal documents. I believe this will further increase the value of the service.”

Ben attributes his success to not just the team, but also the accelerator programmes and competitions he has been apart of.

“From the support I had at both VOOM & Young Start-Up Talent, I was able to really get the business into the right gear to accelerate forward. I then got accepted onto the Crowd10 accelerator programme, which enabled me to become investor ready and achieve these goals.”

The CrowdCube campaign for Influencer is officially still open until 25th November providing it doesn’t meet its further overfunded target – therefore still time for investors to obtain a slice of the action – please visit www.crowdcube.com/influencer  (Please be invest aware – capital at risk).

To find out more about Influencer visit www.influencer.uk

Harry Phelan of Studio H wins the Young Start-up Talent £50,000 prize fund for the Solent 2016

On Thursday 20th October, Young Start-up Talent (YST) hosted their first showcase for the Solent region at the Novotel Southampton Hotel. It was announced that the lucky young entrepreneur who has won the prize fund of business products and services worth £50,000 is Harry Phelan of Studio H.

Following the announcement, Harry commented, “I’m genuinely shocked. Although I put in a lot of effort to get here, I didn’t think I would win. I was just so nervous!”

                                                       Solent Young Start Up Winner Harry Phelan

                                                       Solent Young Start Up Winner Harry Phelan

Harry now plans to use the prize fund to help expand and grow his business, much faster than he could have achieved without Young Start-up Talent. Studio H will now be able to move from a room in his parent’s home, into his own barber shop, as well as take on a number of apprentices from the local area, allowing Harry to train them on the job and teach them the special techniques that makes Studio H distinctive and individual.

Michael Dyer from Verisona Law and judge of the initiative commented “The enthusiasm for Harry’s business model was absolutely infectious. His vision to bring in education and train other young apprentices gave him the added edge.”  With Zara Hogg, Partner of Wilkins Kennedy and also judge adding “It’s brilliant to see that it doesn’t have to be a brand new, technological idea, to win.”

In addition to the winning prize fund a Highly Commended Award was announced to another young entrepreneur, John Wheal with his business Group Hub – an online space to make the organisation and management of groups, clubs and societies much simpler. All judges were so impressed with John’s business knowledge and acumen when he pitched his idea back in September that all the judges kindly contributed to another prize fund to help him grow his business including virtual office space, help with PR, finances and legals.

John Wheal commented: “I am extremely happy and honored to have been awarded the Highly Commended prize. I am really looking forward to future and I have a vision that one day Group Hub will be used by every group across the world.”

                                                                 John Wheal of Group Hub

                                                                 John Wheal of Group Hub

Simon Finch, Relationship Manager for NatWest, also added, “At every awards ceremony, people always say that it was really close, but this time is actually was! The judges had to deliberate long and hard over who should win, and I feel both Harry and John are worthy winners”.

After launching the initiative in January of this year, the YST team sought to find the best young budding entrepreneurs, aged between 16 and 25 years old. After being carefully selected from a number of applicants, the chosen candidates worked their way through a series of business workshops and attended a 1-2-1 speed-networking event with both sponsors and local businesses to help them develop their business plans. From there, the candidates were whittled down to just five finalists.

At the Pitch, the finalists had to present their developed and refined business plans to not only a panel of seven judges but also with five camera’s recording them and later shown at the final with the hope to convey why they deserved to win the competition. After a long and tense wait, the winner, Harry Phelan of Studio H, was announced as the very first Solent winner. Studio H is a modern take on a traditional barbershop and already has nearly 300 clients. Harry believes that it is his unique cutting styles and shaving techniques that attracts the clients, and keeps them coming back.

Young Start-up Talent was honoured to welcome guest speakers Chris Allington, Managing Director of Oxford Innovation, Patrick Le Henaff of Novotel Southampton Hotel as well as successful young entrepreneur and newly appointed director of Young Start-up Talent, Rob Nunn, to speak at the event.

Richard May, Innovation Director at Oxford Innovation, said “It’s amazing to be able to give these young entrepreneurs the opportunity to trial out their thoughts, aspirations and ideas. I wish there was a scheme similar to this when I was their age.” Richard is looking forward to working with YST next year, as the success from our first year in the Solent snowballs.

Mark Waldron, Editor for The News Portsmouth, said, “This is a brilliant initiative that supports these very talented young people. Harry is a very worth winner – he is a star, and I wish him all the best.”

As well as the winner, and highly commended award the other finalists, who also impressed the judges with their professional pitches, included:

                                                              Calvin McLeod – Life Beacon

                                                              Calvin McLeod – Life Beacon

Calvin Macleod, with his business ‘Life Beacon’ – a mobile based application that provides tools for its users or patients to manage their medical health. Calvin said; “Although I’m disappointed not to have won, it has been a great experience and I have made lots of great new contacts to help push me forward”.

                                                                   Ming Wu – UU-U Design

                                                                   Ming Wu – UU-U Design

Ming Wu, with ‘UU-U Design’ – an experimental lifestyle brand and design studio, specialising in fashion, jewellery and wearable technologies. Ming stated; “The process has given me clarification on where and how to take my business forward. I want to become an industry leader in making technology disappear”.

                                                              Casper Nielsen – One Beyond

                                                              Casper Nielsen – One Beyond

Casper Nielsen, with his business ‘One Beyond’ – a new customer-centric mobile network offering 4G on EEs network. Casper remarked; “The value in this competition is not just the prize fund, it also lies in the networking and contacts you receive throughout the process. With this in mind, I now plan on growing One Beyond to 2 million customers within 5 years.”

Young Start-up Talent would finally like to thank all the sponsors who have helped make the YST Solent initiative a brilliant success. We would also like to thank the YST team behind the scenes, who ensured the whole process ran smoothly.

Sponsors of the initiative and who all contribute to the £50,000 prize fund are as follows:

NatWest

Oxford Innovation

Novotel Southampton Hotel

Portsmouth Technopole

Fareham Innovation Centre

Ocean Village Innovation Centre

All Star Marketing Club

Wilkins Kennedy

Verisona Law

1st Computer Services

Little Kanga

Splash Display

Social Marley

The News

Future Capital

Media Word Waves

Creative Pod

If you would like to get involved in the process next year please email info@youngstartuptalent.co.uk

Ben Jeffries of Influencer Wins £50k Business Prize Fund in Kent

                                              Ben Jeffries of Influencer – YST Kent 2016 winner

                                              Ben Jeffries of Influencer – YST Kent 2016 winner

On Thursday 15th September, Young Start-up Talent (YST) hosted their Kent showcase in the Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury, where the judges celebrated one lucky young entrepreneur as the winner of a prize fund of business products and services worth £50,000. The initiative, which is aimed at finding the best 16 –25 year olds with an entrepreneurial flair, starting back in November and after visits to schools, colleges and the Universities, the competition saw a large variety of applicants from across Kent. After months of business know-how workshops and a 1-2-1 styled speed-networking event with local businesses and sponsors, the applicants were whittled down to just five finalists from across.

Winner and finalists of YST Kent 2016 – (left to right – Serena Christie, Edoardo Abati, Ben Jeffries, Jonathan Wood and Kelly Culver)

Winner and finalists of YST Kent 2016 – (left to right – Serena Christie, Edoardo Abati, Ben Jeffries, Jonathan Wood and Kelly Culver)

The finalists then had to present and pitch their final, polished business plan to a panel of eight professionals, in a ‘Dragons Den’ style event, hoping their business would stand out from all the rest. Finally, the winner was announced as Ben Jeffries with his business ‘Influencer’. His business is connects global brands with famous individuals from social media – whether it be from Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or Snapchat – to help promote their business or products through targeted social media marketing campaigns. Ben believes that brands are no longer what Companies tell the consumer it is, it is now what the consumers tell each other it is.

YST Kent judges, finalists and winner (left to right – Michael Adamou, Lorraine Nugent, Jackie Sumner, Serena Christie, Richard Reid, Edoardo Abati, Rob Nunn, Ben Jeffries, Ben Towers, Matt Turner, Kelly Culver, Pete Kenyon, Jonathan Wood and Simon Warne)

YST Kent judges, finalists and winner (left to right – Michael Adamou, Lorraine Nugent, Jackie Sumner, Serena Christie, Richard Reid, Edoardo Abati, Rob Nunn, Ben Jeffries, Ben Towers, Matt Turner, Kelly Culver, Pete Kenyon, Jonathan Wood and Simon Warne)

Upon winning this year’s Kent initiative, Ben Jeffries commented, “I am speechless. I honestly didn’t think I would win. The support from all my friends and family at home has been fantastic, let alone all the support from the Young Start-up Talent team and sponsors themselves. It’s been a fantastic process and I really urge other young entrepreneurs to apply.”

Ben now plans to use the prize fund to propel his business, with hopes he will now explode onto the market. He will also be looking for funding through Crowdcube to help him launch his web platform.

Young Start-up Talent were very pleased to welcome three guest speakers at the showcase event, including two representatives of the initiatives loyal sponsors; Simon Warne, Tax Partner at Crowe Clarke Whitehill, who described the entrepreneurs as “confident, connected with the world and comfortable with change”; Jackie Sumner, Head of Community for Town & Country Housing Group, who felt the night was “just fantastic with five high quality business men and women”; and finally, Sabrina Pearson, last year’s East Kent winner who has since used the £50k prize fund to help kick-start her business, Iluminame.

A number of judges and sponsors also attended the showcase, showing their support of the initiative and the five finalists. Pete Kenyon from Cripps said it was “great to be working with YST again” and that it was brilliant to see how the “judging process had influenced and inspired the entrepreneurs, shown by how much they have developed throughout the process”. Michael Adamou from Local World South East stated that he felt the young entrepreneurs were both “amazing and inspirational with a lot of guts at such a young age to pitch in front of all those judges”. He also stated that he was “looking forward to seeing the future of these entrepreneurs”, wishing them success in everything they go on to do.

Richard Reid from NatWest, one of Young Start-up Talent’s headline sponsors, also commented on the evening and finalists, stating he was “very impressed with the quality of all the candidates and how they presented themselves.” He was also fascinated by “their ideas and how in a number of cases, their businesses had already been put into practice”. Richard would like to congratulate Ben Jeffries on his success in the process, but would also like to wish all the finalists every success in the future.

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

Edoardo Abati, with his business ‘Servee’ – an app that aims to not only make restaurant and café management smarter but also reduces the hassle of the customer’s dining experience. Edoardo stated; “I am very happy to have participated in this process. I’ve learnt a lot and continued to improve. In the future, I hope to find someone to invest in my app to make my business a reality”.

Jonathon Wood, with ‘Eagle Travel’ – a business that specialises in providing flexible bookings that are tailored to the customer based on their needs, allowing them to get on with their busy lifestyle whilst Eagle Travel find them the best deal. “Although I hoped to win, I honestly feel that everyone is a winner. This process has given me clarity on where I want to go with my business, and I would like to thank everyone for this experience”.

Kelly Culver, with her business ‘Route 66 Motors’, which will restore and sell classic American cars with aims to become the go-to place for bespoke American cars. Kelly commented, “I’m chuffed with how this whole process has gone. Young Start-up Talent has given me the drive to take over the world and spread my love of American cars. I don’t aim small!”

Serena Christie with ‘Imperial Industries’, a creative jewellery company that offers a range of bespoke and innovative accessories and body adornments made from up-cycled coins. “The judges’ advice has been amazing. It will really help me to push my business forward”.

Many of the Young Start-up Talent alumni also attended the event and showed their support to the initiative and the candidates. Rob Nunn, Strategic Director of Young Start-up Talent finished with; “This is the first time I have had the honour of judging the young entrepreneurs in Kent. I would like to not only congratulate, but also thank all of the finalists for making it such a brilliant year. Your journey with Young Start-up Talent has only just begun, and we all look forward to continuing working with you in the future!”

Sponsors of the intiative in Kent include:

Crowe Clark Whitehill

Town & Country Housing Group

NatWest

Bowles

Cripps

West Kent Chamber of Commerce

The Business Terrace

Creative Pod

Beta Futures

Media Word Waves

Infinity

Kent Foundation

Gulbenkian Theatre

Young Enterprise

Omicron

Canterbury Times

Dover Express

Folkestone Herald

Isle of Thanet Gazette

Let’s Do Business Group

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce

Basepoint Business Centres

Bludel

Social Marley

Encore

To find out more about the entrepreneurial initiative visit http://youngstartuptalent.co.uk.

Young Entrepreneurs Wow the Judges with their Perfected Presentations and Innovative Ideast

                                             Young Start-up Talent Judges and Finalists Solent 2016

                                             Young Start-up Talent Judges and Finalists Solent 2016

On September 8th, the Young Start-up Talent (YST) final five candidates pitched their refined business plans at the Ocean Village Innovation Centre, Southampton, to a panel of judges in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style event. All were hoping to win a prize fund worth up to £50k worth of business products and services. The prize fund is donated by sponsors and local businesses to help ensure the lucky winner will have all the assistance they need to kick-start their new business.

Before reaching this point, the candidates have already worked their way through different business workshops, as well as a speed-networking event, which involved local business professionals grilling and feeding back their worldly wisdom and expertise to the young entrepreneurs on their business ideas.

YST Solent judges 2016 – Left to right Chris Allington, Lorraine Nugent, Matt Turner, Ben Towers, Simon Finch, Zara Hogg and Michael Dyer

YST Solent judges 2016 – Left to right Chris Allington, Lorraine Nugent, Matt Turner, Ben Towers, Simon Finch, Zara Hogg and Michael Dyer

The judges consisted of seven business individuals, including; Chris Allington – Managing Director of Oxford Innovation, Simon Finch – Relationship Manager for the NatWest Bank, Zara Hogg – Partner of Wilkins Kennedy, Michael Dyer – Director and Head of the Corporate and Commercial Department of Verisona Law, Ben Towers – the teenage Founder of Towers Design and CEO of Social MarleyLorraine Nugent – Managing Director of Media Word Waves and founding partner of Young-Start up Talent, and Matt Turner, a fellow founding partner and CEO of the Creative Group.

                            YST Solent 2016 filming Dragons Den at Ocean Village Innovation Centre

                            YST Solent 2016 filming Dragons Den at Ocean Village Innovation Centre

One of the judges, Chris Allingtoncommented on the initiative stating, “This is one of the most exciting business projects I’m involved with, mainly because it solely focuses on young people. I’ve been really impressed by the quality of the business plans presented, and it is clear to me that even if the candidates are not successful in this competition, there is no doubt they will have great success in their future business career.”

Another judge, Simon Finch of NatWest, also added: “It has been a privilege to witness the progression of these candidates throughout the process. The standard has been very high”.

YST finalists Solent 2016 – Left to Right – John Wheal, Casper Nielson, Harry Phelan, Calvin Macleod and Ming Wu

YST finalists Solent 2016 – Left to Right – John Wheal, Casper Nielson, Harry Phelan, Calvin Macleod and Ming Wu

The five finalists included:

Calvin MacLeod, a man passionate about his business, Life Beacon, a mobile base application that provides tools for users and patients to manage their medical health by providing reminders, calendars, notes, prescriptions and a day-to-day diary. On the night of the event, Calvin commented, “I’ve found the whole experience invaluable. In fact, it’s because of this process that I recently secured a job in business development!”

Casper Nielson, who is planning on starting a new mobile phone network, One Beyond. Casper hopes to become a key player in the UK mobile market within the next five years. “This process has enabled me to meet other like-minded individuals who understand the desire to work for yourself.

Harry Phelan, with his business Studio H – a modern take on a traditional barbershop, which specialises in unique cutting styles and shaving techniques. Harry spoke about the whole process very highly, stating, “Young Start-up Talent has offered me the chance to grow my business a lot faster than I could have done on my own. The process has really made me think about the potential of my business, rather than just focusing on being an in-house barber.”

John Wheal, with his business Group Hub, has developed an online space that helps to simplify the management and organisation of groups, clubs and societies and added “The feedback during the process has been invaluable and has prepared me for pitching my business in now and in the future.”

Ming Wu, who hopes to start an experimental lifestyle brand and design studio called UU-U Design which specialises in wearable technology with affordable fashion jewellery in an up-and-coming market. “During the process I have been extremely motivated and become far more focused and driven to get my business ideas of the ground.

Judge, Michael Dyer of Verisona Law, commended the finalists as he explained how he was “extremely impressed by the improvements in the delivery, content and overall aspects of their businesses” since the last time he saw them at the semi finals in July.

Special thanks go to all of the judges and to the behind-the-scenes team, which consisted of Richard May, Alice Thorn and Rob Nunn, who helped the candidates prepare for their final pitches whilst easing their nerves, as well as the amazing team who filmed the evening. The Young Start-up Talent team would also like to thank the Ocean Village Innovation Centre for allowing them to use the building to film the formal presentations.

The candidates now wait with baited breath until the chosen winner is announced at the Showcase at the Novotel Hotel in Southampton on October 20th 6.30pm. The judge’s decision will determine which young entrepreneur will win the prize fund worth up to £50k of business products and services.

To find out more, please visit: http://youngstartuptalent.co.uk

Sponsors Involved in this year’s Solent Initiative Include:

Oxford Innovation

NatWest

Social Marley

Wilkins Kennedy

Verisona Law

The News Portsmouth

Media Word Waves

Creative Pod

All Star Marketing

1st Computers Services

Novotel Hotel Southampton

Splash Display

Portsmouth Technolopole

Fareham Innovation Centre

Ocean Village Innovation Centre

Little Kanga

Search Continues for Bright Young Business Minds

Young Start-Up Talent (YST) is out once again hunting for the next set of talented entrepreneurs aged between 16 and 25. ‘YST’ is an initiative that works with over 140 local and national businesses who all contribute to a prize fund worth over £50,000 in each of the six areas it currently operates to enable vital support and guidance for young start-up businesses to ensure a more sustainable future.

The workshops are currently delivered to over 60,000 youngsters across the South East, where the project works within schools, colleges, universities and youth groups to inspire and encourage a ‘can-do’ attitude towards business.

This year will be Young Start-Up Talents seventh year in the Gatwick Diamond region as they look to find the latest ‘brightest young business minds’. Candidates who are accepted are put through their paces in a number of one to one sessions, where they can get feedback from leading professionals in their field. The process culminates in a ‘Dragons Den’ style final where the candidates will make their final pitches in front of the judges in order to win the prize fund.

Reigate & Banstead Borough Council have been proud sponsors of the ‘YST’ programme in the Gatwick Diamond for four years and Simon Bland, Economic Prosperity Programme Manager was keen to reiterate his passion for the initiative.

He stated, “The notion of supporting local entrepreneurs is always exciting and we want to make sure that we do everything we can to enhance their experience in our area.”

Lorraine Nugent and managing director of Young Start-up Talent, said “It is very much about helping young people who are new to business and teaching them the skills and discipline they need. The winners are achieving a business with real money.”

Applications are now open to anyone between the age of 16-25 who live, work or study in the Gatwick Diamond area and who want to be part of the mentoring process towards winning a prize fund worth up to £50,000 to kick-start their business. Applications for entry are open via the website http://youngstartuptalent.co.uk with a closing date for entries of 16th December 2016.

Young Entrepreneurs Given Expert Marketing Advice

What is going to excite your STAR customer?

                                                            YST workshop with All Start Marketing

                                                            YST workshop with All Start Marketing

All Star Marketing Club were on hand to give some of the South’s brightest young entrepreneurial minds a guide on how to ensure their business succeeds through great Marketing strategies and a strong Proposition.

The budding entrepreneurs were taught about the importance of identifying a clear five-point proposition for their business – product, experience, distribution, price and communication.

Rebecca Paterson, Marketing Director, told them that “You can have the best idea in the world, but it’s no use if it’s the world’s best kept secret. Do everything you can to let your potential customers know you exist.”

The Marketing Workshop was led by Rebecca Paterson and Victoria Vickery – directors of All Star Marketing Club and held at Fareham Innovation Centre. Entrepreneurial contestants from the Young Start-Up Talent initiative from the Solent and Chichester regions along with co-Founder Lorraine Nugent, Richard May of Oxford Innovation and Claire Peers of Verisona Law were also on hand to help out.  The candidates took part in various activities to improve their marketing skills.

Harry Phelan, an entrepreneur and finalist for the Solent region who runs his own barbershop (Studio H), found particular importance in identifying his STAR customers and how he could target them in his advertising. A STAR customer is one that is most likely to use the business that the entrepreneurs are running that will yield the most results in a marketing campaign.

Victoria Vickery was also keen to stress the importance of modern marketing strategies adding that “It’s so much tougher than it’s ever been. You will have competitors, so you’ve got to find a way to stand out. So speak in the customer’s language and give them the solution to their needs.”

The workshop proved to be an invaluable experience for the young entrepreneurs as they prepare to enter the real business world.

Conrad Manning, of ZAPA, aims to help students learn about the world of marine engineering through various modules. He states that “The session really helped open my eyes to a completely different kettle of fish [marketing techniques].”

The entrepreneurs will now go away and prepare their final business plans before they enter the ‘Dragons Den’ in the Young Start-Up Talent finals. The event, for the Solent region, will be held on 8thSeptember at Oxford’s Innovation Centre in Ocean Village. The winner will be chosen and announced at a showcase event on 20th October at Novotel Hotel in Southampton.

For more information about the All Star Marketing Club http://allstarmarketingclub.com/ and http://youngstartuptalent.co.uk

Young Entrepreneurs Face Fiery Panel of Business Professionals in Kent

YST Kent finalists 2016 – Left to Right Kelly Culver, Jonathan Wood, Serena Christie, Ben Jeffries, Edoardo Abati

YST Kent finalists 2016 – Left to Right Kelly Culver, Jonathan Wood, Serena Christie, Ben Jeffries, Edoardo Abati

The Business Terrace at Maidstone House, the Gateway has been home to this year’s Young Start-up Talent process for the Kent region. The initiative, designed to aid 16-25 year olds in starting up their own business, has taken this year’s entrepreneurs through business know-how workshops followed by a speed networking event which saw local business professionals meet with the young minds. The chosen final five faced the tough job of pitching their polished business plans to a panel of judges in a bid to walk away with the prize fund worth upto £50k. The prize fund, which is made up of products and services donated by local businesses and sponsors, will provide the chosen winner with all the necessities to kick start their business off the ground.

YST Kent judges 2016 – Left to Right Keith Cane, Simon Warne, Matt Turner, Lorraine Nugent, Rob Nunn, Dara Chauhan, Michael Adamou and Irfan Baluch

YST Kent judges 2016 – Left to Right Keith Cane, Simon Warne, Matt Turner, Lorraine Nugent, Rob Nunn, Dara Chauhan, Michael Adamou and Irfan Baluch

The judges consisted of 8 business professionals and included Keith Cane – Director of Town & Country Housing Group, Dara Chauhan – Director of NatWest, Simon Warne – Partner of Crowe Clark Whitehill, Irfan Baluch Partner of Cripps, Michael Adamou – Head of Media Sales of Trinity Mirror South, 22 year old entrepreneur Rob Nunn and Director of six businesses, Lorraine Nugent – Managing Director of Media Word Waves and founding partner for Young Start-up Talent along with fellow founding partner Matt Turner and Director of Creative Pod.

Judge – Simon Warne of Crowe Clark Whitehill commented “I found the event hugely enjoyable and the entrepreneurial spirit was clearly evident in the business plans and presentations.  Some of the candidates had to endure close questioning and it was encouraging to see their mastery of relevant detail as well as defining strategic vision.

Whilst Keith Cane of Town & Country Housing Group and also a fellow judge added “I was really impressed by the quality of the pitches and how the business ideas had been developed since the last round” and Michael Adamou of Trinity Mirror South said “A wonderful night, such a talented bunch of individuals with extremely exciting futures”.

                                                           The judging panel that finalist faced

                                                           The judging panel that finalist faced

The final five young entrepreneurs included:

Serene Christie with her business Imperial Industries which works around upcycling old coins into cufflinks and jewellery.

Ben Jeffries with Influencer, a social media marketing agency that connects people with a high social media following.

Johnathan Wood, who entered the initiative with Eagle Travel, a service that specialises in flexible holiday bookings with a personalised touch. Jonathan said “A very competitive and a fantastic experience”.

Edoardo Abati, who pitched his business Servee to the judges, a company which aims to fill a gap between local restaurants and big food chains.

Kelly Culver was passionate about her business Route 66 Motors which involves restoring classic American cars and said “A great night with such valuable business advice given”.

Judge, Dara Chauhan of NatWest said “I was impressed to see the finalists show their talents and especially impressed by the fact they had taken on board feedback delivered at previous sessions which is a very important part of the process.”

Thanks go to the team behind the scenes at the event where former finalist of Young Start-up Talent Kiran Reardon who along with Ben Towers of Towers Design and successful young entrepreneur helped calm the finalists and prepare them for the formal pitches.

The team at Young Start-up Talent would like to thank Karen Franek of Maidstone Borough Council for the use of the building to film the formal presentations as the team were given access to a part of the building that has never been used before to create an industrial feel to the footage and formal presentations.

The Young Start-up Talent winner will be announced on the 15th of September along with the first showing of the film created at the Maidstone at the famous Gulbenkian Theatre at University of Kent campus in Canterbury. The judge’s verdict will determine which lucky entrepreneur will be walking away with the prize fund worth upto £50,000.

To find out more please visit: www.youngstartuptalent.co.uk

 

Sponsors involved in this year’s Kent initiative include:

Crowe Clark Whitehill

Town & Country Housing

NatWest

Bowles

Cripps

West Kent Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

Maidstone Borough Council

Creative Pod Ltd

BetaFutures

Media Word Waves

Infinity Integrated Technologies

Breakfast Friends

The Kent Foundation

Gulbenkian Theatre

Young Enterprise

University of Kent

BIS (Department for Business Innovation & Skills)

Kent Regional News and Media

Let’s Do Business Group

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce

The Kent Foundation

Basepoint

Bludel

Social Marley

Discovery Park

Start-up Initiative Celebrates Seventh Year in Gatwick Diamond

                                                      Young Start-up Talent Sponsors 2016

                                                      Young Start-up Talent Sponsors 2016

The 20th Of July marked the launch of Young Start-up Talent’s (YST) seventh year in the Gatwick Diamond, held at Crawley Town Football Club. Since its inception, YST has launched across six different regions and has aided the start-up of over 54 businesses. The initiative, which is set to encourage and inspire 16-30 year olds who want to set up their own business, is celebrating another year in the Gatwick Diamond searching for the next entrepreneur to walk away with aprize fund worth upto £50k for their first year of business.

Bhavna Patel of PDT solicitors said “I think it’s a fantastic initiative, it allows young talent the opportunity to contribute and add value. This gives young individuals that just need the opportunity to be listened to, heard and invested in, so I think it’s a great concept”

Sponsors from across the region joined the event to look to the future as well as back on past successes. 2015 winners, Juby Lee Bakes, joined the launch and updated sponsors on their year thus far since winning the initiative and its prize fund.

Since winning YST, Juby Lee Bakes has incorporated the company with as a CIC with the help of both Richard Place Dobson and PDT Solicitors, spoken at and exhibited at local events such as Gatwick Diamond Business, Crawley Chamber of Commerce, Manor Royal events, Plumpton College and QEII School – and have recently arranged for their bakes to be in upscale business hotel, Crowne Plaza, Norwegian Airlines at Gatwick Airport, rtainly not be where we are today if were not for the help of Young Start-up Talent.”

                                                  Simon Tomlinson and Alice King of JubyLee Bakes

                                                  Simon Tomlinson and Alice King of JubyLee Bakes

The room heard from an array of inspiring speakers, who looked back over their time involved in YST and touched on the effects the initiative has had on both its entrepreneurs and the companies involved. Speakers included Lauren Vincent from B&CE, and Rob Nunn representing Encore along with founding partners Lorraine Nugent and Matt Turner. Lauren Vincent told the room “B&CE are really proud to be a part of this year’s Young Start-up Talent, we are thrilled to support the fantastic work it’s doing to inspire and help young budding entrepreneurs.

                                                               Lauren Vincent of B&CE

                                                               Lauren Vincent of B&CE

Geoff Williamson from FSB said he loves the notion of “giving young people the chance of succeeding in the future” While speaker Rob Nunn and young entrepreneur and founder of Encore reiterated the promise of young entrepreneurs stating that “Absolutely nothing is impossible."

Applications are now open to anyone between 16-30 in the Gatwick Diamond areawho want to be part of the mentoring process towards winning a prize fund worth upto £50k to kick start their business.

Sponsors for the year included:

NatWest

Creative Pod

Media Word Waves

Richard Place Dobson

B&CE

West Sussex County Times

PDT Solicitors

Gatwick Diamond Jobs.com

Crawley Borough Council

Thales

FASTSIGNS

Crawley Observer

The Federation of Small Businesses

Mid Sussex Times

Basepoint Business Centre

Gatwick Diamond Business

Platinum Business Magazine

Crawley & Gatwick Chamber of Commerce

Young Enterprise

Avensys Ltd

Gatwick Airport

Lingfield Park

Let’s Do Business Group

Horsham District Council

Sussex Chamber of Commerce

Reigate & Banstead Borough Council

Beta Futures

Bennett Christmas

Latest TV

PSD ICE ART

Social Marley

Strong Flavours

Structured Communication

Entrepreneurs of the Future face Business Minds of the Present

Young Start-up Talent are an initiative targeted at aiding and encouraging 16-25 year olds who are in the process of starting up their own business. Marking the project’s first year in Chichester, a 121 speed-networking event took place at Chichester Park Hotel on the 18th of July.

Multiple applicants from across the region applied online to be whittled down to a final five.  These young minds took part in the speed networking event which saw business professionals from the Chichester area face the aspiring entrepreneurs and their business plans. Sponsor Gary Shipton said “Young people come up with the most genius solutions to problems that we hadn’t even noticed – it’s fascinating.”

Chichester District Councillor, Gillian Keegan said “It goes without saying that we want to have more people setting up businesses. We’re very keen to get more young people staying and working in Chichester.” She went on to say “I’m really looking forward to meeting the people and listening to their ideas and the entrepreneurial drive of the young people.”

Semi Finalists for the day included:

Angelika Hegedus

Charlie Keegan

Paul Nicholls

Charles Taylor

Khee Tan

Contestant Paul Nicolls said “The process has taught me a lot already. I’ve had some great feedback and tonnes of ideas to go away and develop for my business.” While Charles Taylor said “I’ve really enjoyed today, I’ve even managed to make a sale!”

The semi-finalists were previously invited to a business know-how workshop to polish up their business pitches in time to face the sponsors. With ideas ranging from handmade bespoke pens to a porcelain doll gallery, the day was certainly not short of entrepreneurial spirit. Offering feedback and guidance, the professionals deciphered who has what it takes to carry their business plan to the next stage of the process. Chichester Judge, Warren Cooper of NatWest said “It’s been interesting to see the different ideas and the way the young entrepreneurs have approached things” Finalists will be put through a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style presentation event on the 22nd of September at the Bishops Palace with the winner of a prize fund worth upto £50k will be chosen and announced at a showcase event on 27th October at the South Downs Planetarium.

Sponsors involved this year include:

NatWest

Social Marley

Chichester District Council

Chichester Cathedral

Media Word Waves

Creative Pod Ltd

Chichester Observer

PEP Printers

Chichester Chamber of Commerce

South Downs Planetarium

Chichester Park Hotel

Simmons Signs

Initiative seeks Young Brighton Business Minds

The business world is heating up for 16-25 year olds in the Brighton and Hove area as Young Start-up Talent (YST) prepares to launch its fifth annual entrepreneurial competition in region.

This year’s launch took place in the charming Jurys Inn Waterfront Hotel, which is renowned for its calming seaside views. During the event, several influential speakers were in attendance, including Entrepreneurial Spark’s Fiona Anderson and Dan Simpson of Hartley Fowler who commented that being part of the initiative was “a truly humbling experience.”  He continued “If this year’s entrepreneurs bring a similar level of entrepreneurship, care and skill as others have done in the past couple of years I think we’ll do very well.”

Guest speaker and previous Brighton and Hove winner Nick Musto who sailed to success with his company RADAR said The help, advice and direction I have had from the YST sponsors has been invaluable.” 

The project has been running successfully across several other regions for the past six years and will continue to scout for the best business minds in the area. Alan White oif long standing sponsor, Fastsigns said “It’s really rewarding being able to work with these young entrepreneurs and develop their ideas and try and help them solve some of their problems. It’s something we thrive on as a business, we like to try and help them achieve their goals”

Guest speaker Fiona Anderson was enthusiastic by the opportunity YST provides, stating that “The initiative very much manages to retain the talent in the regions it works in, meaning these young entrepreneurs are actually contributing back to the local economy.” Entrepreneurial Spark Chicklet and first time attendee of the launch, George Lengyel, CEO of Hubbub said “It’s been an amazing experience hearing from the different business leaders and it’s been inspirational to hear from successful people who are doing successful things in the Brighton and Hove area.”

This year is set to be as thrilling as ever, with local businesses, schools and aspiring young entrepreneurs from the area already becoming involved in the initiative. All the contestants will be in with a chance of winning the £50k prize fund for the first year of business. Claire James of Pivotal Moment said “I think it’s fantastic, I really see how much it’s impacting the young people who go through the programme. After being a sponsor last year, I’ll certainly continue to do so this year and beyond because I think that the contribution that it’s making is absolutely invaluable and I think that making this kind of influence at the start of someone’s career leverages their talent in a way that is very difficult to do later in their career.”

To find out more please visit: www.youngstartuptalent.co.uk

Brighton Sponsors:

Sea Life Brighton

Avensys Ltd

Hartley Fowler LLP

Gatwick Airport

Young Enterprise

BIS

Hewlett-Packard Company

Acumen Business Law

Brighton City College

Brighton and Hove Jobs

Brighton & Hove Council

Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce

Thebestof of Brighton & Hove

Brighton and Hove Independent

Media Word Waves

Natwest

The Let’s Do Business Company

Creative Pod

Juice Brighton

University of Brighton

Platinum Business Magazine

Sussex Chamber of Commerce

Bennett Christmas

Beta Futures

FASTSIGNS

Latest TV

Pivotal Moment

PSD ICE ART

Social Marley

Structured Communications

Sussex Innovation

Strong Flavours

Jurys Inn Brighton Waterfront

Face Media Group

Shaking Hands crowned Croydon young entrepreneurs 2016

Croydon Entrepreneurs Crowned winners of Prize Fund

             Laurence Grant & Rob O’Sullivan – Shaking Hands Young Start-up Talent winners Croydon 2016

             Laurence Grant & Rob O’Sullivan – Shaking Hands Young Start-up Talent winners Croydon 2016

On Thursday 7th July Fairfield Halls played host to this year’s Young Start-up Talent showcase where one successful business was chosen to walk away with a £50k prize fund worth of business products and services.  The initiative, which is set to seek out the region’s most promising entrepreneurial spirit, whittled a range of applicants from across Croydon down to a final six entrepreneurs. Robert O’sullivan and Laurence Grant were crowned this year’s winners with their business – Shaking Hands Interactive Partnership (SHIP), a platform for Croydon-based small-medium business owners to inform, smarten and grow their businesses. Laurence said “We are so thrilled to have been chosen as this year’s Croydon winner, this experience has been invaluable and the year head looks very exciting.”

The process began in April when selected applicants took part in a business-know how workshop followed by a 121 speed networking event at Jurys Inn Croydon. After having their businesses scrutinised by sponsors from across the region, a final four were chosen to face a panel of business professionals. It was at this stage that finalists battled it out to take home the prize fund worth up to £50k of business products and services that can help their business take flight.

Three guest speakers featured at the showcase event, shining a light on the significance of the initiative. Attendees heard from 2015 Croydon winner, Stephanie Kane who is making her mark on the creative community of Croydon with her quick-selling paintings. Other guest speakers included successful young entrepreneur and winner of the YST Kent region, Dean Day who is CEO of up and coming Indie games studio – Greenlight Games and loyal Croydon sponsor, Simon Maddox who said “It’s been incredible working with these guys, seeing their enthusiasm andseeing a great idea flourish. Stephanie’s story this year has just been amazing and to be part of it is just heart-warming.”

With 2016 marking the initiative’s second year in Croydon, judge Mark Burgess of Natwest commented “They’ve all got excellent ideas, I think they all presented perfectly and I’m sure they’ll all go on and move on to bigger and greater things in whatever path they choose.”

                                             Young Start-up Talent finalist and judges Croydon 2016

                                             Young Start-up Talent finalist and judges Croydon 2016

Other finalists who faced the panel with their impressive pitches included Kurtis Peck, 17, Serena Evans, 16 and 22 year old duo Harry Flaherty and Maddie Ellison.

                                                  Young Start-up Talent Croydon 2016 finalists                    (Left – Harry Flaherty, Laurence Grant, Robert O’Sullivan, Kuris Peck, Serena Evans)

                                                  Young Start-up Talent Croydon 2016 finalists
                 (Left – Harry Flaherty, Laurence Grant, Robert O’Sullivan, Kuris Peck, Serena Evans)

Reflecting on the initiative, Annabel Fogden of The Croydon Chamber of Commerce said “It’s a really inspiring, creative and supportive process which is great for young people in business.”

The initiatives newest sponsor, Morton Michel attended the evening, with Steve Hodgson saying “It’s been a great evening, they’re all very worthy winners, I’m pleased for the people that won and I thoroughly look forward to hopefully assisting them moving forward.”

Joanna Ford of Cripps summed up the evening saying “It’s been inspirational to see young people who have such amazing ideas, really innovative and so passionate about what they are doing and fabulous to see such talent that we have around us locally.”

To find out more visit www.youngstartuptalent.co.uk

The judging panel consisted of:

Mark Burgess – Director of NatWest

Simon Maddox – Partner – Owadally & KingBen Towers – CEO – Towers Design/Social MarleySalim Somjee – Partner – Cripps Law

James Booker – Editor – Croydon Advertiser

Matt Turner – CEO – Creative Pod & Director Young Start-up Talent

Lorraine Nugent – Director – Media Word Waves / Managing Director-Young Start-up Talent

This year’s Croydon sponsors were:

NatWest

Owadally and King

Fairfield Halls

Gatwick Airport

Media Word Waves

Avensys Ltd

Croydon Advertiser

Minuteman Press Printers

Croydon Chamber of Commerce

Creative Pod

FASTSIGNS

Young Enterprise

3D Change

Platinum Business Magazine

Coast 2 Capital

Matthews Yard

Hands On IT Services

Jurys Inn Croydon

Frost Group

Social Marley

Structured Communications

Whiston Solutions

Sussex Innovation Croydon

CrippsMorton Michel

Young Solent Entrepreneurs Take the Lead

Young aspiring entrepreneurs from across the Solent area are competing for a prize fund worth up to £50,000 towards their first year of business. Young Start-up Talent is a program geared towards 16 to 25-year-olds who are looking to gain access to the business world. These promising minds gathered at Fareham Innovation Centre on July 5th where they were placed in a 121-speed networking session with business professionals from around the region in a bid to see their business take flight.

With his moto “Find the gap and stay focused!” Chief operating officer of Mission Performance, Bobbie Fung, gave entrants a motivational speech before they faced the professionals. With only seven minutes per sponsor, the area was flooded with entrepreneurial flair as the young talent competed for their places in the final. Young entrepreneur Harry Phelan said “I’m incredibly excited to be part of Young Start-up Talent. I am of course slightly nervous for what’s ahead of me tonight but it’s great to be amongst so many young entrepreneurial minds and to see great innovation being used.”

Richard May, Innovation Director at Oxford Innovation for the South, and mentoring co-ordinator, said: “This evening’s semi-final was a tense affair because the quality of ideas and innovation has been nothing short of astonishing – it was difficult to pick out the five semi-finalists because each of the 10 entrants had commendable ideas that could fly commercially.”

Geoff Collis of Wilkins Kennedy further commented “It’s been really interesting this evening in meeting all of the different candidates, there’s a huge variety of ideas.”

Only five will be able to make it through to the ‘Dragon’s Den’ style final.  Each entrepreneur will pitch a refined business plan to a panel of judges in a bid to be the 2016 Solent’s Young Start-up Talent champion. The final showcase is set to take place at the Novotel Hotel in Southampton on October 20th, where the final winner of the prize fund will be revealed. Councillor Sean Woodward from Hampshire County Council said “Nobody is going to hold your hand all through life and you’ve got to get out there and compete, you’ve got to find the gap and exploit it and that’s exactly what these young people will be doing after today.”

The ten candidates involved in the semi final process were:

Conrad Manning

Calvin Macleod

Josh Harris

Jordan Bellot

Casper Djurhuus Nielsen

John Weal

Harry Phelan

Ming Wu

Kayem Ali

Joe Saveall

Sponsors involved in this year’s initiative include:

Oxford Innovation

NatWest

Social Marley

All Star Marketing Club

Wilkins Kennedy

Verisona Law

The News (Portsmouth)

Media Word Waves

1st Computer Services

Portsmouth Technopole

Ocean Village Innovation Centre

Creative Pod

Novotel Hotel Southampton

Splash Display Ltd

Fareham Innovation

Little Kanga Consulting

Tunbridge Wells’ Future Business Owners Put to the Test

Two of Tunbridge Wells’ brightest entrepreneurial minds continue their push to become the best Young Start-up Talent in the Kent region.

IMG_2044.jpg

These budding young entrepreneurs both resident in Tunbridge Wells met at Trinity Theatre to receive feedback on their business plans. Among this year’s selected finalists for the Kent region were Serena Christie (Imperial Industries) and Ben Jeffries (Influencer).

The initiative works with over 140 local and national businesses who all contribute to a prize fund worth upto £50,000 in business products and services in each of the six regional areas it currently operate in. This gives vital support and guidance for young start-up businesses to ensure them a more sustainable future. The workshops are currently delivered to over 60,000 youngsters across the South East. These projects work within schools, colleges, universities and youth groups to inspire and encourage a ‘can-do’ attitude towards business.

Both Ben and Serena met with Lorraine Nugent, one of the founding partners and directors of Young Start-up Talent, to receive feedback on their business plans. In this meeting the importance of a clear cash flow forecast was highlighted in order to be successful in their final pitch. Lorraine also advised these young entrepreneurs to try to enjoy their pitch as much as possible and to prepare for the questions the ‘Dragons’ may ask following their pitch.

IMG_2044.jpg

Serena has founded her own business (‘Imperial Industries’) specialising in the production of cufflinks made from old British coins. She specialises in Silversmithing and also produces textured and twisted silver rings. Serena has a clear vision for the future as she looks to expand her business abroad to reach a wider target audience.

Serena Christie said that: “I am really excited for the final, I got lots of ideas from today and it has given me lots to think about”.

Whereas Ben’s business is based around the idea of social media marketing. ‘Influencer’ has many high profile celebrities which brands can approach to promote their products. Their headline stars include Brazilian midfielder Ronaldinho and British model Amy Willerton.

Ben Jeffries also added: “I have spoken to many people during this process and they have given me lots of useful insights. To get to this stage and to see that other people like my product has given me a lot of confidence”.

The final five candidates must submit their completed business plans by 18th July in preparation for the ‘Dragon’s Den’ on 21st July at Maidstone House. This is an opportunity which could prove invaluable for their future business careers.

To find out more please visit www.youngstartuptalent.co.uk

Take a look at Kent Entrepreneurs of the Future

Aspiring young entrepreneurs from across the Kent region are competing for a prize fund worth upto £50,000 to go towards their first year of business. Young Start-up Talent is an initiative built for 16 -25 year olds who are looking to move their start-ups off the ground and into the business world. The bright minds gathered at the Business Terrace, Maidstone House at the Gateway on the 22nd June, where they were met by an assembly of business professionals from all over Kent for a 121 speed networking session.

The initiative is sponsored by 140 sponsors who all contribute to the prize fund across the South East with Town & Country Housing Group and NatWest being headline sponsors for the Kent region.

After submitting their business ideas online and following an initial workshop, eight successful applicants were chosen to attend a business know-how workshop in the first stage towards growing their companies in preparation for the pitches ahead. With only ten minutes per sponsor, the Business Terrace was flooded with entrepreneurial flair as the young talent pitched for their places in the final.

Dara Chauhan of NatWest and judge commented “I was really impressed by the quality of the business ideas that were presented to us this evening. It is a treat to see such an incredible amount of enthusiasm in one room.”  The evening saw ideas ranging from handmade jewellery right through to a social media agency and healthy lifestyle brands.

Also on the judging panel is Simon Warne from Crowe Clark Whitehill who commented “Some of these ideas are already flying, some of those ventures are already businesses and some of them are more ideas, but nearly all have good commercial possibilities.” Pete Kenyon of Cripps added “This is my fourth year taking part and I’m always very interested to see the vast range of ideas that come out, this year has been very diverse.”

A final five will be going through to the ‘Dragons Den’ style stage of the process, where they will each pitch their refined business plans to a panel of judges in a bid to decide who will be crowned 2016 Kent’s Young Start-up Talent winner. The showcase is set to take place at Gulbenkian Theatre on the 15th of September where it will be announced who will be walking away with the prize fund to see their business take flight.

To find out more please visit: www.youngstartuptalent.co.uk

The eight candidates involved in the process were:

Kelly Culver  - Dover – age 20

Johnathan Wood – Rainham – age 16

Ben Jefferies– Tunbridge Wells – age 20

Chloe MacKeon – Ramsgate – age 18

Shantal Charles – Medway – age 18

Joice Joseph – Maidstone – age 17

Serena Christie – Tunbridge Wells – age 23

Edoardo Abati – Canterbury – age 24

 

Sponsors  involved in this year’s Kent initiative include: 

Crowe Clark Whitehill

Town & Country Housing

NatWest

Bowles

Cripps

West Kent Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

Maidstone Borough Council

Creative Pod Ltd

BetaFutures

Media Word Waves

Infinity Integrated Technologies

Breakfast Friends

The Kent Foundation

Gulbenkian Theatre

Young Enterprise

University of Kent

BIS (Department for Business Innovation & Skills)

Kent Regional News and Media

Let’s Do Business Group

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce

The Kent Foundation

Basepoint

Bludel

Social Marley

Discovery Park

Meet the Man behind Crawley’s Viral Videos

Twenty Three year old Sussex Graduate and internet sensation, Will Bower is taking the web by storm alongside his company Royalty Three. Having recently featured in The Metro and Daily Mail for taking lonely holiday snaps with his absent girlfriend, the people of Crawley are looking to see what is next from the director of Crawley TV and 2015 Young Start-up Talent finalist.

                             Bower starring in Viral Video “Things You Don’t Hear People In Crawley Say.”

                             Bower starring in Viral Video “Things You Don’t Hear People In Crawley Say.”

The young entrepreneur, who is known for his viral spoof videos, set-up creative, corporate video production agency -Royalty Three, in 2014, providing content for companies to use on websites, YouTube or social pages. Following its initial success, the company has expanded its services and now offers Digital Marketing and Social Media Management in package deals along with their videos

Since its inception, the agency has spawned ‘Crawley TV’, a website aimed at entertaining the local community, which has taken off in popularity over the past year. With hit videos such as “Things you don’t hear people in Crawley say” and “Old Age Hipsters”, the team have seen one of their videos reach an astounding 100’000 views, nearly accessing the entire population of Crawley.

One of the team’s most exciting projects this year has taken form in collaboration with Autism Parent Empower. Among the series of videos for the charity is a piece of content highlighting the excellent facilities available for autistic people at Virgin Atlantic. Will commented “We were extremely proud of this piece of work, especially after seeing it shared by the official Virgin Atlantic Twitter.” An email was later received from Richard Branson’s secretary, emphasising how pleased they were with the video, featuring a personal thank you from Branson himself.

Will’s ethos to think outside the box and send messages out creatively is spiking the interest of local businesses across Gatwick wanting more exposure. Will said “Video in particular is becoming a huge medium on social media and companies are recognising this as its popularity grows.”

To get in touch the team and get your business speaking creatively visit www.royaltythree.co.uk

Written by Cara Dawson

Pitches to professionals prove Croydon to be home of Business Flair

Selected finalists for business initiative, Young Start-up Talent (YST), gathered at Jury’s Inn Croydon to pitch in front of panel of professionals in a bid to be crowned this year’s Croydon YST winner. The initiative, designed for 16-25 year olds, works across six different regions and is now in its second year working in Croydon, looking for the next set of young entrepreneurs.

After the projects first year in Croydon saw winner and artist Stephanie Kane rise to success, judges are eager to find the latest business idea destined to advance in the Croydon area.

Six bright young minds stepped up to the plate this week, with four business pitches set to impress. After being accepted into the semi-final 121 speed networking stage, a final four businesses were chosen to take on the judges at the final. After polishing their enterprises over the following weeks, finalists pitched to a panel of judges made up of Simon Maddox – Owadally and King, James Booker – Croydon Advertiser, Lorraine Nugent – Media Word Waves, Ben Towers – Social Marley, Matt Turner – Creative Pod, Mark Burgess – Natwest and Salim Sonjee – Cripps. Commenting on his first time on the panel, Salim said “I was incredibly impressed by the quality of pitches tonight. It’s great to see the young talent of Croydon showcasing what they can do.”

Finalists included:

Seventeen year old Kurtis Peck with his green energy company, Peck Energy, creating an eco-friendly concept to be installed across new builds.

Duo, Harry Flaherty and Maddie Alison, who have come up with an app-based platform named Kitch, to pair busy families and individuals with their own affordable, personal chef.

Twenty-Two year olds, Laurence Grant and Robert O’Sullivan, who pitched their business – Shaking Hands Interactive Partnership, a platform for Croydon-based small-medium business owners to grow their businesses. 

Croydon College student, Serena Evans entered the initiative with a game animation to help people who are suffering from mental health issues. She said “This whole experience has just been fantastic. I’ve enjoyed it from start to finish and has some really useful feedback for my business.”

Mark Burgess of Natwest reflected on the performance of the evening saying “Tonight’s contestants have shown a fantastic amount of entrepreneurial flair. I am eager to see all of their businesses grow following their experience with YST.” Simon Maddox of Owadally and King said “It’s been extremely rewarding to see how far these young entrepreneurs have come since the last stage of the process and I’m sure they will continue to excel.”

On July 7th the winner will be revealed at the grand showcase taking place at Fairfield Halls, marking one of its final events before the venue closure. The winner will walk away with a £50k prize fund made up of business products and services, all donated by local sponsors, to see their business take flight.

To find out more about the initiative please visit www.youngstartuptalent.co.uk

Greenlight Games Hit Go on Latest Project

Indie Studio get Funding for Up-and-Coming Game

Indie games studio Greenlight Games is rising to success with yet another achievement under its belt. New talent development programme funded by the UK government – Tranzfuser, have deemed Greenlight Games a successful applicant in this year’s competition, granting them a £5,000 budget to begin developing the prototype of their newest game.

The studio, run by award winning entrepreneur Dean Day, has taken off over the past year, having created four mobile games available on Google and android, with their most popular game, Deul, now reaching over 250,000 downloads.

All successful applicants of Tranzfuser will reconvene at the end of a ten week span for a grand showcase where selected teams will be invited to pitch for extended funding of up to £25k from the UK Games Fund in a bid to market and launch the game on a larger scale.

Award winning entrepreneur and CEO of the studio Dean Day said “I applied for Transfuser with just an idea, the fact that they believe it has great potential proves that it’s something we must do. I’ve got a brand new team for this project and we’re all very excited to get started. The funding will allow us to make a great prototype that may get developed in to a full game.”

Following the good news, the team will begin work immediately on their latest project – Colonise. Colonise is a decision based, episodic, real time strategy game that the studio are bringing to PC and hoping to put on Steam for sale.

        The Colonise team from left to right: Dean Day Rob Hurley, Rochelle Fennell and Austen Dawson.

        The Colonise team from left to right: Dean Day Rob Hurley, Rochelle Fennell and Austen Dawson.

The four part team which are made up of University of Greenwich graduates from the past two years include Austen Dawson, Rob Hurley and Rochelle Fennell as well as founder, Dean Day. Dean has been passionate about offering recent graduates and students work experience in the games industry since launching his programme Green Jamwich which is set to run across the UK this year.

To keep up to date with the latest news on Colonise visitcolonisegame.co.uk or to find out more on Greenlight Games visit http://www.greenlightgames.co.uk/

Croydon Artist takes a Kardashian Twist

Stephanie Kane on Success of New Art Series

Up and coming Croydon Artist, Stephanie Kane, is soaring in popularity with her latest S-KK series that has recently evolved from the twenty-three year olds collection. The S-KK series was created around reality television star – Kim Kardashian and was produced using an iPad and Adobe Sketch.

Feeling frustrated with how the public idolise celebrities that don’t do much to create a positive change, Stephanie endeavoured to warp the images of celebrities that are instantly recognised, such as ‘Kim crying’.  As a comment on the reality star’s warped sense of reality, ‘KRYING KIM’ was re-worked and hand finished to feature black tears made with diamond dust which was later dubbed ‘RIP DIAMOND EARRING’ in reference to the infamous moment Kim lost her diamond earring in the sea.

The artist’s most popular piece ‘WAKE UP MRS. WEST’, named after the song ‘Wake up Mr. West’ from Kayne West’s album ‘Late Registration’, has now sold out after high demand. Stephanie intended for the piece to be used as a direct comment on how our society worship’s someone that has triggered multiple generations to feel the need to contour and drastically enhance their features.

The emerging artist’s typical style involves taking the traditional use of oil paints and layering with crayons for a fast mark making effect. Stephanie, who is CEO of rising art gallery – Studio14, has been selling her work internationally over the past year and seen her portraits take off in popularity. After recently meeting with the creative director from GQ, he told the artist, ‘I’m not laughing at your work, I’m just laughing because it’s so ballsy.’

To keep up with Stephanie’s latest work you can catch her artwork on display in Boxpark, Shoreditch with UTTERcouture or see two of her original works displayed in WeWork, Spitafields for the next 3 months where they are available to buy.

Those who aren’t based around London can catch Stephanie’s work at an exhibition in Leeds on the 2nd June run by magazine – Paint by Number. The young artists work has been featured in the second issue of the magazine, this one night exhibition is set to celebrate the issue launch and its featured artists.

To find out more please visit: www.stephaniekkane.com

www.uttercouture.com
www.wework.com/locations/london/spitalfields
www.paintbynumber.co.uk/

Turning an Idea into a Reality

1.   Believe in the power of an idea

Every successful business was born from an idea, a thought or a passion. The key to success really all begins in believing in your idea. Often, our natural reaction to conceiving an idea is to shrug it off or tell ourselves it could be a waste of time to peruse – but how about giving yourself a chance to prove yourself wrong? Take away the self-doubt that we so often impose on ourselves and route for your idea like you would your football team. If you have the drive to make it work then it really could.

2.   Stop talking and make it happen

So now you’re behind your idea, it’s time to move forward.

Think of it like the first time you went swimming. What if you spent all your time sitting on the edge, worrying whether you would sink or swim? We learn as we go, and while it’s great to take a step back and work out how you’re going to tackle a problem, no progress can be made until you really get stuck in. You can explain your idea to as many people as you like but only you know what your vision is. Be strategic, but remember if you hadn’t have jumped in you’d never have learned how to swim.

3. Invest in a notebook

Remember, ideas are what keep your business moving forward instead of standing still. Our minds are working 24/7 and by the end of the day it’s hard to remember what we had for breakfast, let alone all the passing thoughts we had throughout the day. Invest in a fancy notebook to keep in your bag or back pocket so you can jot down all those brainwaves, little or big. Come Friday, have a shuffle through and pick out the best ones – there could be a winner in there.

If you’re already feeling inspired, take a look at these:

Notebook One

Notebook Two

Notebook Three

Notebook Four

4. Perseverance

Steve Jobs once said “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” He wasn’t wrong. If you endure struggle, it means you’re pushing towards something even it means pushing hard. The secret isn’t in understanding this notion but instead in reminding yourself of it. This is your vision so only you can tell yourself to keep going. Don’t be defeated. 

5. Listen

“There are truths on this side of the Pyrenees, which are falsehoods on the other.” – Blaise Pascal

Learning to listen is one of the hardest challenges many entrepreneurs face. This is your idea, your business and your baby, but listening to feedback is crucial to seeing your business flourish. The greater wealth of perspective, the greater your chances are at growing in the right direction. You can never know everything, so take advice, accept criticism and value opinions.

 

Written by Cara Dawso