Six Yorkshire entrepreneurs are celebrating scooping £10,000 between them as they celebrate the halfway marker of their business accelerator programme.
And applications are being taken for the next intake of businesses or Chiclets to join the Hathchery in Leeds in February 2017.
The #GoDoAcceler8 awards were the culmination of three months of hard work for the entrepreneurs, all Chiclets with Entrepreneurial Spark Powered by NatWest, in partnership with KPMG, Dell EMC and Pinsent Mason.
The six Chiclets shared a £10,000 prize pot, having impressed the judging team with their significant business and personal growth since joining Entrepreneurial Spark, as well as their drive to take their start-up to the next level.
To win the #GoDoAcceler8 prize and £2,000, Chiclets had to submit a formal application and make a presentation to a judging panel, four weeks prior to the event.
The winners on the night were:
- Ben Barker, founder of Artemis Brew, which manufactures cold brew coffee into bottles and kegs for wholesale.
- Darren Good of Goodsense Training, a start-up providing conflict resolution training to ensure staff remain safe at work and have the confidence, skill and understanding to prevent and manage difficult situations.
- Rachael Dunseath, founder of Myroo Skincare, an independent, natural skincare label that formulates and manufactures its product range in-house using the best in plant-based ingredients.
- Hannah Duraid of The Great Escape Game, an exciting new live escape room experience blurring the lines between everyday life and the world of video games and movies.
Ben Barker of Artemis Bew and Jenni Smith, founder of Jenni Smith Studio, also fended off competition from eight other Chiclets to win the £1,000 60-second pitching competition, convincing the expert panel of judges of their passion for solving customers’ ‘pain points’ and their enthusiasm for growth.
Hannah Duraid founder of The Great Escape Game, who won the #GoDoAcceler8 prize, said: “Since joining Entrepreneurial Spark, The Great Escape Game has grown dramatically. We have opened a second site in Leeds, more than doubled our team, growing from 10 members of staff to 22, and have increased our turnover by more than 300 per cent.
“Our industry is currently in a period of high growth, so it’s essential we’re innovative and create the best possible offering to customers – particularly at our new site in Leeds. Winning this award and the £2,000 prize will allow us to create a promotional video for our new branch and really drive forward the growth of our business and expansion plans.”
Applications are now open for the next intake of businesses. Since launching in September 2015, the Hatchery has supported more than 200 enterprises on their enterprise journey.
Melissa Hulme, Entrepreneur Development Manager at NatWest, said: “It’s been fantastic to see how much the Chiclets have grown and progressed over the past three months, and recognising their hard work and commitment Entrepreneurial Spark through the Acceler8 Awards is very important. The Chiclets have shown a tremendous amount of passion, creativity and commitment to their businesses. It can be daunting starting your own business but the entrepreneurs working in the Leeds Hatchery have had fantastic support from all the partners involved and are proving to be a such a positive reflection of the city’s vibrant start-up community.”
To apply for the programme or for more information visit: www.entrepreneurial-spark.com