Last week, we revealed the first three finalists in the JC’s Young Entrepreneurs’ Challenge. Today, we introduce the final two, in with a chance of winning over £20,000.
Backed by some of the biggest names in business, including Investec Specialist Bank, the competition aims to find the start-up stars of the future.
We asked 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 wouldmentor a final five before selecting the winner to invest £10,000 in.
The winner, chosen after scrutinizing presentations, will also receive £10,000 from Investec Specialist Bank, £5,000 of strategic consultancy from Albion London and free accountancy advice from leading north London firm, Berg Kaprow Lewis.
After months of working through the applications, the judges chose their final five to present: Flat-Club, Written Medicine and Pashkes of London (profiled last week). And now...
The final presentations are taking place at Investec Specialist Bank on March 18
Finalist Four: Cyclebeat
Company: Cyclebeat is a new approach to indoor cycling, aka, spinning.
Details: Cyclebeat is a chain of cycling studios — it launched its first one this year in London, near Bank. The studio is specially designed for indoor cycling and uses technology that makes it easy to book classes (currently mon-fri) and track performance. Classes sell on a “pay-per-ride” basis.
Team: Greg Allon (co-founder), a lawyer who works for a TV company, keen triathlete. Justin Crewe (co-founder), a corporate lawyer who also runs Hot Bikram Yoga, which he helped his wife (Greg’s sister) set up.
Fact: The idea for Cyclebeat was hatched in a taxi on the way to a family barmitzvah.
Mentor: Philip Lewis
Quote from Philip Lewis: “The Goverment’s chief medical officer has highlighted cycling as an effective way to prevent many serious illnesses. Spinning is a fun way to replicate the benefits of cycling without worrying about traffic and inclement weather. I look forward to spending time with the team and burning off a few calories at the first branch.”
Finalist Five: Student@Home
Company: Student@Home is a friendly low-cost service that brings IT students to homes or small businesses to help resolve their computer problems.
Details: Founded in 2012, Student@Home aims to solve two problems by; 1) providing students lacking work experience with employment, and 2) help residents and small businesses struggling with technology. Students get paid £12/hour plus £2.50 travel per job.
Team: Kelly Klein (founder), former private banker at JP Morgan.
Fact: Unemployment is highest among IT grads — it is easier to get a job if you study sports science.
Mentor: Robert Voss
Quote: from Robert Voss: "I am delighted to be mentoring Student@Home. The concept is great, bringing together employment for the young, a particular interest of mine, and other socially responsible aspects, yet is also a money-making and well-thought-out business opportunity with enormous possibilities for growth.”
£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
WHO ELSE APPLIED? Some of the other entries
MyMummyMadeIt: A husband-and-wife collaboration, MyMummyMadeIt delivers fresh healthy (and hot) homemade baby food to busy parents, and nurseries.
InMotion: One for golfers, inMotion is offering a hardware device (the EchoSwing) that can be attached to golf clubs, providing swing data to help them improve their stroke.
MyMag: Founded by a 17 year-old, My Mag is a magazine that invites aspiring journalists to submit their blogs/articles for a monthly fee. A top 20 are chosen and pubished in a free monthly magazine.
Nutrino: A virtual nutrionist, Nutrino is a personalised food recommendation platform/app that learns user eating habits and preferences and provides a customised plan for optimised well-being.
MyMZone: Founded by two business grads, “my Market zone” is an e-commerce platform that enables market traders to showcase and sell their products online.
The Boutique Hotel Awards: Set up in 2010, it claims to be the world’s first international awards body aimed solely at recognising excellence among boutique hotels.
Millinery by Rosie Olivia: Rosie Olivia is a Liverpool-based established business designing and creating a range of contemporary women’s headwear. Current stockists include Fenwicks of Bond Street, London.