Young entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to business professionals from the Chichester area on Monday, July 18, after making the top five applicants selected for the semi-final.
The 16-25 year olds presented their business plans at the speed-networking event at Chichester Park Hotel, organised by the Young Start-up Talent initiative.
Editor-in-Chief of Sussex Newspapers, Gary Shipton, was at the event to meet the bright young minds competing for a place in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style final in September and a prize fund worth up to £50,000.
Mr Shipton said: “Young people come up with the most genius solutions to problems that we hadn’t even noticed - it’s fascinating.”
With ideas ranging from handmade bespoke pens to a porcelain doll gallery, the day was certainly not short of entrepreneurial spirit.
In the run up to the event, Chichester District Councillor, Gillian Keegan said she was looking forward to listening to the contestants ideas and their entrepreneurial drive.
She said: “It goes without saying that we want to have more people setting up businesses.
We’re very keen to get more young people staying and working in Chichester.”
Semi-finalists Angelika Hegedus, Charlie Keegan, Paul Nicholls, Charles Taylor, and Khee Tan were previously invited to a business know-how workshop to polish up their business pitches in time to face the sponsors.
Offering feedback and guidance, the professionals deciphered who has what it takes to carry their business plan to the next stage of the process.
Contestant Paul Nicolls said: “The process has taught me a lot already. I’ve had some great feedback and tonnes of ideas to go away and develop for my business.”
Fellow semi-finalist Charles Taylor was similarly enthused. He said: “I’ve really enjoyed today, I’ve even managed to make a sale!”
Offering feedback and guidance, the professionals talked to the contestants one-on-one and deciphered who has what it takes to carry their business plan to the next stage of the process.
Chichester judge, Warren Cooper of NatWest said: “It’s been interesting to see the different ideas and the way the young entrepreneurs have approached things.”
Finalists will be put through to a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style presentation event September 22 at the Bishops Palace. The winner of the prize fund worth up to £50,000 will be announced at a showcase event at the South Downs Planetarium on October 27.
Find more information about the project at www.youngstartuptalent.co.uk
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