On Wednesday 21st December, four young entrepreneurs met at the Bishop's Palace, Chichester Cathedral, to present their final business plans to a panel of seven judges in the hope of being named Young Start-up Talent Chichester’s very first winner. The initiative, which started earlier this year, allows 16 - 25 years old to express their business ideas to a number of business professionals who can offer invaluable advice and experience to help the young entrepreneurs progress with their business goals and dreams.
Judge and sponsor, Councillor Eileen Lintill from Chichester District Council, said, “I am really impressed with all of the candidates. We have seen four very different businesses, all of which can easily come to fruition. It is brilliant to see that we have such entrepreneurial talent in the district.”
Another judge, Gary Shipton of Chichester Observer said - “Having judged many of these events this has been one of the strongest. All the candidates were consistently good and very professional. The business ideas are very sound and viable. One of the biggest challenges that they each will face is knowing how to upscale them.”
After participating in business workshops, and completing a speed-networking event with a range of the sponsors and business professionals, the candidates were whittled down to just four finalists. The four finalists braved the fiery panel of judges, presenting their final and refined business plans in a bid to walk away with a prize fund worth up to £50k of business products and services.
The judges consisted of seven business professionals and included: Chris Deans, Relationship Director for NatWest; Louise Hastings, Partner at Moore Stephens; Cllr Eileen Lintill, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Community Services at Chichester District Council; Gary Shipton, Editor-in-Chief at the Chichester Observer; Bishop Martin Warner at Chichester Cathedral; Rob Nunn, Managing Director of Creative Pod and Strategic Director of Young Start-up Talent (YST), and Lorraine Nugent, Managing Director of Media Word Waves and Founding Partner of YST.
Chris Deans, Relationship Director from NatWest, commented, “I am extremely impressed with the quality of the presentations, and it was clear the preparation was significant to deliver their pitch. All the contestants excelled, presenting very credible arguments on why they will be successful business people in the future”, with Louise Hastings of Moore Stephens and also a judge adding; “All really strong presentations with a lot of potential.”
The final four young entrepreneurs included:
Hannah Weir age 17, with her business ‘Telephonium’ an individual and bespoke telephone marketing company;
Thomas Orchard age 17- with ‘Tom’s Computers’ a device support company which offers all aspects of device repair;
Charles Taylor age 17, who handcrafts his own bespoke pens as well as many other crafts, such as cabinets, whistles and keyrings.
Leanne Robertson age 22, pitching her mobile sports and pregnancy massage therapy business. Leanne commented on the whole process, stating, “the experience has been great. I have learnt such a lot that I wouldn’t have even thought about if I hadn’t entered the competition.”
Bishop Martin Warner, who kindly let us use the Bishop’s Palace for the formal presentations, was also a judge on the night. He commented; “It has been exhilarating to see the levels of professionalism, passion and imagination in these young people. And part of the privilege is having the opportunity to contribute to their future plans”.
Thanks go to the Young Start-up Talent team behind the scenes who helped to calm the finalists and prepare them for the formal pitches. Special thanks also go to the film and AV crew, for ensuring the presentations filming ran smoothly.
The very first Young Start-up Talent winner for Chichester will be announced on Thursday 12th January 2017 at the Planetarium. The judge’s verdict will determine which lucky young entrepreneur will be walking away with the prize fund.
To find out more please visit: www.youngstartuptalent.co.uk
Sponsors involved in this year’s Chichester initiative include: