July 2015, Croydon:
Croydon Showcase Reveals Star Talent at Fairfield Halls
by Croydon Marketing Agency Media Word Waves
Croydon welcomed the regions first Young Start-Up Talent (YST) winner to the stage at Fairfield Halls. The showcase event on Thursday 9th July marked the end of the YST process for its first year in Croydon. Stephanie Kane aged 22 was crowned 2015's winner, walking away with a prize fund of business products and services worth £50k that are all donated by local businesses to go towards her vision of creating Studio 14. The studio is set to be a gallery comprised of three elements – a gallery for emerging artists, an artist studio space and a bar area for events in Croydon.
Gatwick Airport’s Aspiring Leader, Andrew Williamson said "I've really enjoyed today, I'm so happy to be here and to be involved in a great start-up initiative like YST. I'm just so pleased for Stephanie tonight - she's got a real opportunity here and these prize funds can change lives." Stephanie's parents added "We are very proud and so excited. The whole process has been amazing for Stephanie and each task really got her thinking about what she should do and pushed her plan forward."
The showcase this year was also home to the unveiling of the showcase DVD, premiering the first ever Croydon YST final and gave viewers an insight into the challenging process behind becoming a winner. Guest speakers during the evening where Andrew Williamson of Gatwick Airport, Mark Burgess – Director of RBS and multi award winning young entrepreneur, Ben Towers – Director of Towers Design and Social Marley.
Our panel this year was made up of local business professionals - Mark Burgess - Director at Royal Bank of Scotland Group, James Booker - Editor at Croydon Advertiser, Simon Maddox - Partner at Owadally & King, Lorraine Nugent - MD at Media Word Waves, Matt Turner - MD at Creative Pod Ltd and Ben Towers - CEO of Towers Design and Social Marley.
The judges with winner Stephanie Kane
Ben Towers commented “Young people are constantly being put under more pressure by others to academically achieve; this is not for everyone. Having the chance to run your own business and be in control of your own destiny is an amazing feeling”.
Judges were left thoroughly impressed by the pool of talent at the Jury's Inn final and praised the quality of their business models, with judge Simon Maddox of 'Owadally and King' commenting "It’s been amazing I've really enjoyed it from start to finish. It was great to see the contestants handle themselves so well."
Among the promising finalists were four other impressive businesses, including:
25 year old Vanessa Karikari whose business 'Ezape' involves 100% natural skincare products predominantly designed as an organic way of helping babies with skin problems.
Alex McGuigan, aged 23, is looking to fill the void and create a Music Venue for the Croydon area called Talheim Music.
Ross Hicking, aged 19, is looking to establish his company 'London Falconry' which will offer people in Greater London the experience of flying birds of prey.
Graduate Lee Gordon, who is currently working as an estate agent, has created an online 24/7 student lettings platform called Padsnap Student Lettings - set to launch later this year.
The finalists assembled their own stands, showcasing their businesses to local business professionals who attended and networked with the young business entrepreneurs. Annabel Fogden from the Croydon Chamber of Commerce said "We are delighted to be sponsoring these fantastic young entrepreneurs. Tonight has been enjoyable and inspirational, the young people who come up with these business ideas are so brave and courageous and very clever in what they've thought through."
James Booker, judge and editor of the Croydon Advertiser, expressed that he had been "very impressed with the amount of young people in Croydon who just have a gift for business." If this is anything to go by, we can expect great things from not only this year’s YST finalists but many more in the coming years from Croydon.
The judges and sponsors for Young Start-up Talent Croydon 2015, are:
3D Change. 3D Change is a dynamic social regeneration consultancy. At the heart of our company is action to work: when local businesses prosper, they create jobs, which then have a positive impact on the communities in which we live, work and socialise.
Amicus Horizon AmicusHorizon provide homes and services to communities across London, the South and South East of England. We’re committed to providing more than bricks and mortar. We work to improve the lives of our residents through innovative programmes and training schemes. We own and / or manage just under 28,000 homes and offer housing solutions from general needs to housing for people with care and support needs.
Avensys Hire and Events , an Audio Visual Company with divisions supplying Professional AV Sales & Installation, Hire, Events & Exhibition services as well as a retail store supplying consumer Audio Visual products.
Coast to Capital, Coast to Capital is the Local Enterprise Partnership for Brighton and Hove, Croydon, Gatwick Diamond, East Surrey, Lewes, West Sussex. Formed in 2011, our small team is focused on delivering growth for one of Britain›s most economically important regions. We represent a population of 1.9 million people, more than 85,000 businesses supporting more than 776,000 jobs and 141,000 self-employed individuals. Our focus is on those areas where we can stimulate growth and add the most value, working with the private and public sectors.
Creative POD , A South East based multi-award winning design agency. Creative Pod works with clients ranging from entrepreneurs and one man bands to SMEs and global blue chips. We become our clients internal marketing department from as little as 10 hours per month.
Croydon Advertiser , The Advertiser is published every Friday in print but now also has a website, www.croydonadvertiser.co.uk which is the home of breaking news and sport in Croydon. In October, the Advertiser launched a new monthly business supplement, aiming to chronicle the huge change currently happening in Croydon’s economy and shine a light on business success stories at all levels.
Croydon Chamber of Commerce , We are the local membership for the local business, delivering business opportunities. A local branch of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) membership network, we have all you need to succeed in business. With a network of over 2,500 members, access to a range of membership services and products designed to support your business.
Department of Business Innovation and Skills BIS is working together for growth and investigating in skills to make markets more dynamic with lower regulation, and by promoting trade to boost innovation and help support people looking to start and grow a business.
Fairfield Halls The Fairfield Halls is South London’s largest arts and entertainment complex with three venues offering music, dance, comedy and drama to an audience of 800,000 within a four mile radius. We have an 1800 seat concert hall, a 750 seat theatre and a 500 standing concert space. We also provide a highly regarded platform for community arts in Croydon.
FastSigns your leading local sign company supplying all your sign requirements. We have been part of Crawley life for over 15 years working closely with the whole community.
Gatwick Airport , is the busiest single-runway airport in the world and is currently undergoing a £1bn transformation. It serves more than 200 destinations in 90 countries for around 33 million passengers a year.
Matthews Yard Matthews Yard is an arts, cultural and community hub in the centre of Croydon with a fully licenced café, a workspace for early stage start-ups, a gallery showcasing the work of local artists and a studio theatre offering an intimate space with a varied scheduled encompassing theatre, film, comedy, live music and community events.
Media Word Waves As a leading PR agency we offer the full range of PR Services including creative copy for press releases, advertising campaigns, brochures, newsletters and websites which we deploy through our extensive network of Local and national media contacts.
O and K Our dedicated team serve a wide range of clients around the UK and abroad, as many of our team are also fluent French speakers. We run unique Business Success Clubs, where on a regular basis we assist a select group of business owners to grow and manage their business in a very different way.
RBS Group The RBS Group is one of the leading UK banks with its support for local business community and young entrepreneurial talent. For every great business today there was once a ‘young start-up talent’ and RBS are very proud to be supporting this event.
Young Enterprise , a not for profit organisation; building a connected world of young people, business volunteers and educators, inspiring each other to succeed through enterprise.