YOUNGER people wishing to start their own business have a fantastic opportunity following the launch of the second Young Start Up Talent competition in West Sussex today. (Friday July 22).
A £50,000 prize of business services awaits the competition’s winners, all sponsored by companies operating in the Gatwick Diamond.
“If you’re aged 16 to 21, live, work or study in the Gatwick Diamond and want to start a business, then this is the competition for you,” said Matt Turner of Creative Pod, who founded the initiative last year with Lorraine Nugent of Media Word Waves. “Young Start Up Talent encompasses all of the tools, experience and expertise, that you need to start a business, including a £2000 cash prize,” added Matt.
The launch event was held at Copthorne London Gatwick Hotel and attended by many of the supporting businesses and competition judges, as well as last year’s winners and some of the finalists.
Henry Smith MP, spoke of his ‘pride’ and ‘delight’ at being involved in the scheme, adding that he believes YST is the ‘beginning of something that will go on to even greater things’. There is talk of rolling it out nationwide next year.
The standard of the competition is already very high. Judges returning from last year include Marian Broughton, vice president of Thales; Mark O’Shea, partner at Rawlinson Butler LLP; Matthew Tyson, director of Richard Place Dobson and Alan Trace, senior manager at Lloyds TSB. This time they are joined by Silla Maizey, managing director of British Airways, and Gary Shipton, editor-in-chief of the West Sussex County Times group of newspapers, including the Crawley Observer, Mid Sussex Times and Sussex Express.
Matthew Tyson told guests his involvement was ‘very rewarding’ and ‘very inspirational’. Alan Trace agreed, declaring how he found his ‘faith in youngsters restored’ and that he was ‘humbled’ by the praise and gratitude received from finalists.
Teenager David Newick was inspired to launch his new business Connect-a-Gadget after reaching the finals of last year’s competition. He said: “YST was perfect for me. I have received so much advice and knowledge that has really helped me build my business up. It would not have happened without YST.”
Another 2010 finalist, George Fisher, also greatly benefited from participating saying it was a ‘fantastic learning experience’ and that the ‘opportunity to speak to professionals is invaluable’.
George led the audience in a round of applause for last year’s winners Tom Williams and James Seear who used the prize to launch Recyclabook Limited – a business which helps students recoup investment in text books at the end of the academic year by buying them off them, to be sold on to new students for the start of the new term.
Tom and James are already writing money, and thanks to the assistance of the Rawlinson Butler and Richard Place Dobson, Recyclabook is officially registered at Companies House and is on a sure footing for their planned expansion across the nation’s Further Education establishments.
Applications for this year’s competition are now welcome, and some have already been received via the scheme’s website www.youngstartuptalent.co.uk.
From September to December, sponsors and judges will be going into schools all over the Gatwick Diamond delivering workshops and addressing students, encouraging those with an entrepreneurial flair to enter the competition.
Semi finals will be held in January before a Dragon’s Den style final will determine the second YST applicant to win more than £50,000 in essential business services.
Have you got what it takes to win YST? Visit www.youngstartuptalent.co.uk to find out more.