Six months ago, the JC launched its biggest — and most rewarding — business competiton to date.
Backed by some of the biggest names in business, including Investec Specialist Bank, the initiative aims to find the start-up stars of the future.
We invited existing businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to five of the nation’s most respected businessmen: Stephen Grabiner, Nick Leslau, Philip Lewis, Claude Littner and Robert Voss, who would mentor a final five before selecting the winner to invest £10,000 in. The winner, chosen after industrious presentations, will also receive £10,000 from Investec Specialist Bank, £5,000 of strategic consultancy from Albion London and a free accountancy advice from leading north London firm, Berg Kaprow Lewis.
After months of working through all the applications, which came from a variety of sectors including retail, leisure and technology, the judges — after much debate and deliberation — have selected their final five to present. We reveal them this week and next.
Final presentations will take place on 18 March at Investec Specialist Bank.
Finalist One: Flat-Club
provides short-term rentals within social networks.
Details Launched in 2010, Flat-Club is developing an online marketplace to help young professionals find short-term accommodation by renting through their trusted social networks. It is aimed at students and alumni of top universities.
Team Nitzan Yudan (co-founder, pictured), 12 years experience in IT and finance. Tomer Kalish (co-founder), 10 years experience in property.
Fact In 2012, Flat-Club employed more interns from London Business School than Goldman Sachs (or any other bank).
Mentor Claude Littner
Quote from Claude Littner “Just when you think you have seen everything, along comes a very clever young entrepreneur with a solution to a problem I didn’t know existed. I am looking forward to mentoring Nitzan and Tomer, and challenging the business model and impressive looking financial forecasts. It should be an interesting encounter — I hope I survive!”
Finalist Two: Written Medicine
Company Written Medicine is a start-up providing software to the healthcare sector.
Details Founded in 2012, it aims to re-energise the pharmacy sector by creating software that enables pharmacies to print bilingual medication labels in English and any other language.
Team Ghalib Khan, a pharmacy technician of 10+ years. Murtada Alsaif, a practicing pharmacist with a PhD.
Fact Ghalib came up with the idea while in the shower and called Murtada mid-shower (Murtada still doesn’t know this — though he probably does now!)
Mentor Stephen Grabiner
Quote from Stephen Grabiner ”I am very excited to be working with these two. They have identified a real need in a sector they understand. Their initiative will very
likely improve the
way medication is taken, and consequently, save the NHS money, address a real problem for patients whose first language is not English, and also make stakeholders a return. They are also really nice guys, which is just as important.
Finalist Three: Pashkes of London
Company: Pashkes of London wants to produce the world’s finest lactose-free iced dessert.
Details: Pashkes makes and distributes its Antonio Russo dairy-free ice cream brand. Founded in 2011, and made from a site in Stamford Hill, it offers three signature flavours with six “special issue” flavours. Paskes is accredited by the London Beth Din, Muslim Food Board and Vegetarian Society.
Team: David Russell (strategic director), co-founded The PR Office. Marton Braun (creative director)Judaica collector. David Braun (sales and operations director), celebrated photographer. Yisrael Pashkes (production director), master-chef, who had previously served 13 months in a Jerusalem prison.
Fact: Pashkes began over a Shabbat dinner. Mentor: Nick Leslau
Quote from Nick Leslau: “I am delighted to be mentoring Pashkes. They have a terrific product, have made good inroads into their niche markets. Now we need to explore whether the business is scalable and the management has the ambition and ability to achieve that.”
£10,000 investment from the judges
£10,000 from Investec Specialist Bank
A year’s free financial and tax advice from Berg Kaprow Lewis
£5,000 of consultancy from Albion London
Profiling in the the JC
Opportunity for further funding
Stephen Grabiner, experienced investor and former head of global media at Apax
Nick Leslau, major property player, who sits on several company and charity boards
Philip Lewis, heads the property division of the Kirsh Group
Claude Littner, corporate turnaround specialist, well-known for his appearances in The Apprentice
Robert Voss, investor and head of metal traders, Voss International