YOUNG entrepreneurs wowed judges with perfected presentations and innovative ideas in bids to win a prize fund of up to £50,000.
Five candidates in the Young Start-up Talent final pitched their business plans to a panel of judges to determine which young entrepreneur will win the prize fund of business products and services.
The ‘Dragon’s Den’ style event took place on September 8 at the Ocean Village Innovation Centre, Southampton.
Local businesses and sponsors donated the fund to ensure the winner has all the assistance they need to kick-start their business.
To get to the final, the candidates had to work through different business workshops which involved being grilled by business professionals before being given feedback on their business ideas.
The finalists were judged by seven business people, including Michael Dyer, of Verisona Law, which based in Portsmouth.
Mr Dyer said he was ‘extremely impressed by the improvements in the delivery, content and overall aspects of their businesses’ since the semi-finals in July.
Business ideas put forward by the finalists ranged from a mobile-based application that provides tools for patients to manage their medical health to a barbershop with a modern twist.
Ming Wu, who hopes to start an experimental lifestyle brand and design studio called UU-U Design, said: ‘During the process I have been extremely motivated and become far more driven to get my business ideas of the ground.’
One of the judges, Chris Allington, said: ‘This is one of the most exciting business projects I’m involved with, mainly because it solely focuses on young people.’
The candidates will have to wait to find out who has won, with the winner announced at the showcase at the Novotel Hotel in Southampton on October 20.
Sponsors involved in the initiative include Oxford Innovation, NatWest, Social Marley, Wilkins Kennedy, Verisona Law, The News, Media Word Waves, Creative Pod, All Star Marketing, 1st Computers Services, Novotel Hotel Southampton and Splash Display. For more go to youngstartuptalent.co.uk
– GRACE WHELAN