February 2013, Lingfield, Sussex:
Sam French wins Young Start-up Talent Gatwick Region 2012/2013
by Lorraine Nugent, of Sussex & Surrey Marketing Agency Media Word Waves
The winner of the £50,000 prize fund for the Gatwick Diamond’s entrepreneurial initiative, Young Start-up Talent 2013, was announced at an outstanding show at the Lingfield Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club Hotel with an impressive staging, lighting and video production put together by SeeThat and AV specialists Avensys on Thursday 28th February 2013. Sam French, age 21 from Crawley, who attended Hazelwick School was announced as winner of the project with his business Sam’s Kitchen www.sams-kitchen.co.uk.
Sam said, “This has been a fantastic journey and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. The best thing is making like minded friends with the other competitors. I have met great people during the process such as the judges and sponsors through this experience.” Sam’s very proud mum said “Sam is driven by passion, he has always been desperate to run his own business and to be his own person. We are very proud of him.”
Sam and some of the other finalists have already received several offers of business deals from those that attended the event.
The evening was hosted by the founders of the competition, Lorraine Nugent, MD of Sussex PR agency Media Word Waves, and Matt Turner, MD of Creative Pod.
The other finalists for the Gatwick Diamond were Alessandro Tricarico of Clear Window Cleaning, Josh Stacey and Sam Rose of The Purple Card, Summer Shayne of Hiremyclothes.com, Olivia Harrison and Zak Lambri of Fashion Shak and Dylan Gillah of If Clothes were Songs. All of the finalists had a trade stand at the event to further showcase their businesses.
Jane McGill, HR Business Partner for British Airways and judge of the Gatwick Diamond initiative was very impressed with all of the finalists and announced at the evening that British Airways have awarded all the finalists a free flight to a choice of three European destinations – Nice, Barcelona or Amsterdam.
Special guest speaker Stephen Mason who is a true entrepreneur, running several large businesses with a combined turnover of over £60million told the audience of his entrepreneurial journey and passed on tips to the youngsters. “In watching the video, I would have chosen Sam as the winner and it is Sam that I would invest in”.
Matt Tyson of Richard Place Dobson and one of the judges commented “I think Sam is a loveable character and very infectious with a fabulous product. Dean Orgill from Mayo Wynne Baxter, another judge said “All the Finalists were very impressive; the future is bright for all of them”.
We heard from Henry Smith MP for Crawley who narrated the DVD that was shown during the event and commented “Sam is an incredibly engaging and humorous guy. He demonstrates real spirit and has massive potential in his business. I am in awe. I know that he will be able to develop his business. Finalists from previous years, George Fisher and Timothy Armoo also spoke at the event about the opportunities that Young Start-up Talent has created for them.
The winner of the 2012 prize fund, Toby Gillett of Sobiblio, also spoke about his highs and lows of his first 12 months and ongoing plans for the future of the business. Toby talked about the media frenzy after winning and his radio interview on BBC Sussex which was played to the audience. Toby mentioned about how the judges of the initiative had set up a meeting with the MD of Penguin Digital and has since worked with Penguin on a new digital project. Toby said “Speaking at this event brought back all the nerves that I felt this time last year – well done to Sam, I sincerely hope that he goes on to succeed!"
A video of the Dragons Den style final that was filmed by SeeThat at the offices of Thales a few weeks ago was played to the audience with the help of AV specialists Avensys. Each of the finalists had the daunting task of standing in front of a panel of the eight judges, plus numerous cameras and studio staff from SeeThat, and was put through a series of challenging questions about their business idea. "It was a tough choice", said judge Lorraine Nugent, "all of the finalists were excellent, and I am sure, like last year, many of the finalists will go on to run their own successful business, winner or not."
For more information use the following links
Sam French, Age 21, Past pupil of Hazelwick School, Crawley
Name of the business: Sam’s Kitchen. Sam makes fashionable, seasonable tea-time treats for children and adults. Mainly specialising in hand iced gingerbread biscuits.
The other finalists in no particular order:
Josh Stacey & Sam Rose, Age 16, The Weald School, Billingshurst
Name of the business: The Purple Card – a discount card aimed at 11-16 year olds which provides exclusive discounts to high street stores.
Dylan Gillah, Age 17, Sackville School, East Grinstead
Name of the business: ICWS (If Clothes Were Songs). Is a designer label and fashion statement that takes advantage of the two most popular teenage trends – music and fashion.
Alessandro Tricarico, Age 21, Past pupil at Imberhorne School, Crawley
Name of the business: Clear Window cleaning. This is a domestic window cleaning business which provides a professional, reliable service by using high quality modern window and gutting cleaning equipment. Clear window Cleaning
Summer Shayne, Age 17, Hazelwick School, Crawley
Name of the business: Hiremyclothes.com. This is a website for people to earn extra income from home by hiring/selling unused clothing to people in their local area eg. fancy dress, prom dress, wedding dress etc.
Olivia Harrison & Zak Lambri, Age 16, Reigate College, Surrey
Name of the business: Fashion Shak. Is an online clothing website that is an indirect way for young adults to be involved with charities as a percentage will be donated to a local charity.
Marion Broughton, Vice President Thales
Thales is a leading international electronics and system group, addressing Aerospace and space, Defence and Security markets worldwide. Thales’s leading-edge technology is support by 22,500 R&D engineers who offer a capability unmatched in Europe to develop and deploy field-proven mission-critical information systems.
Jane McGill: HR Business Partner British Airways
Jane is HR Business Partner for all of BA’s operations at Gatwick Airport and has always had a passion for people and their development. Jane also acts as a mentor for final year hospitality students at Oxford Brookes University.
Alan Cook, Senior Manager, Lloyds TSB Commercial
Alan joined Lloyds Bank in 1975 and has worked his entire life throughout the South East. For the last 25 years he has headed a number of Commercial teams and now leads a group of 10 commercial relationship managers across the Gatwick Diamond and Brighton area.
Matthew Tyson, Director, Richard Place Dobson
As accountants, we focus on building relationships with our clients, helping them to achieve their personal and business goals. We are also specialists in providing accountancy services for the charity sector.
Dean Orgill, Chairman Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP
Dean is a Partner within the Litigation Department and Chairman. He has been with Mayo Wynne Baxter for over 20 years and acts on behalf of a wide range of clients
Gary Shipton, Editor in Chief, West Sussex County Times Group
Gary is Editor in Chief of the West Sussex County Times group, which includes the Crawley Observer and Mid Sussex Times. An award-winning journalist he is also the former countryside columnist of the Sunday Express.
Lorraine Nugent: Managing Director Media Word Waves
Lorraine heads up a leading Public Relations agency based in the heart of the Gatwick Diamond. Lorraine has no shortage of expertise in media relations having worked for a prominent newspaper group for 7 years – managing a business paper with strong links in both local and national media.
Matt Turner, Managing Director Creative Pod Ltd
Creative Pod is located at the heart of the Gatwick Diamond. Work on re-brands, marketing material and websites. Matt won Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the Gatwick Diamond Business Awards 2010.
The Supporters and Sponsors
Full list of sponsors and supporters for the 2012/13 Gatwick region initiative are as follows:
Henry Smith MP, Creative Pod, Media Word Waves, Richard Place Dobson, MayoWynneBaxter, Thales UK, Lloyds TSB, Gatwick Airport, British Airways, Lingfield Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club, West Sussex County Times, Crawley Borough Council, GatwickDiamondJobs.com, FastSigns, Crawley Observer, Mid Sussex Times, Praxima Video Solutions, Extech, Basepoint Business Centre, Central Sussex College, Crawley Chamber of Commerce, Young Enterprise, McDonalds, Federation of Small Business, Gatwick Diamond Business Association, Avensys, MCR Print, Heart FM, Department of Business Innovation and Skills, Crawley Town FC, Future Proof Consulting Solutions, See That Video, Lets Do Business, Start Up Loans, NVision Coaching, Horsham District Council