Young Sussex entrepreneurs face panel for £50k prize fund

Finalists of the 2016 Gatwick Diamond Young Start-Up Talent contest have pitched their business plans to a panel of top businessmen and women.

Friday, 19th February 2016, 6:00 pm

After getting shortlisted at a speed networking session last month the young entrepreneurs have worked with the Young Start-Up Talent team to develop and finalise their business plans.

Last week they stood before a panel at Thales in Crawley in their bid to win £50k worth of business products and services.

Before the pitches ensued, panellist Rebecca Glazebrook from PDT Solicitors said: “I’m looking forward to hearing the pitches now that I’ve read through the business plans and seen them in more detail.

“It’s very exciting.”

They heard about five outstanding business ideas.

Robbie Walder faced the den with his doorbell business – SyncedIn, which he proposed could revolutionise the way we communicate with our homes.

Reflecting on his pitch, he said: “It was nerve wracking at first but once I got going it was exciting. I received some great feedback to take away with me.”

Peteris Sobolves tackled the judges with confectionary company, Sweet Man Sweets, a unique sweet stall that will evolve into a portable sweet shop van.

Thomas Hussey who studies at Central Sussex College, presented Zaoby, an online hosting, domain registration company aimed at hobbyists and gamers.

Akan Ekanen a recent graduate, entered the den with his company SquareMile, a transportation Network Company allowing users to compare prices of various transport companies.

Before pitching Akan said “The process has been so enjoyable and I’ve learnt so much already. I really do feel prepared. “

The last was ‘JubyLee Bakes’, a bakery business set up by Simon Tomlinson, Aaron Dawson, Abigail Tuesley, Alice King, James Connell, Kate Bentley and Siobhain Lee.

Zoe Wright of Crawley based BC&E said: “It was great to be part of the judging panel. I’m sure these young entrepreneurs will take on board our advice and their businesses will flourish.”

Matt Tyson of Richard Place Dobson and Peter Hitchcock of Thales agreed that the finalists had proved to be ‘a true testament to the young talent’ across Gatwick.

The winner will be revealed a grand showcase on March 7 at Lingfield Park Marriott Hotel.

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