NEF 2017

Join us for the 'Steam Punk' themed BQ National Entrepreneur Festival 2017

Entrepreneurs from across London & the South compete for top accolade

Five entrepreneurs from across London & the South have made it to the final of the BQ Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year awards, which are being held as part of the inaugural BQ Festival this month.

BQ and Atom Bank are hosting the inaugural National Entrepreneur Festival at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle upon Tyne on 21 November 2017.

The festival will see the presenting of the Emerging Entrepreneur Awards, which will highlight the tenacity, creativity, innovation and determination of the nation’s entrepreneurs.

And remember, you can still get your tickets for the festival, here.

Here is the shortlist for the London & the South regional award, chosen by our panel of expert judges:


Alborz Bozorgi – Twipes

24-year-old Alborz Bozorgi launched Twipes, a range of eco-friendly toilet wipes that disperse within three hours, in a bid to combat the 5.8 million tonnes of wipes used across the globe every year. Launched just a year ago, the company has already raised £150,000 in funding and has ambitious plans for the future.


Leila Francis Coleman – AquaPhysical

Bringing a new product to market is always a risk but it was one Leila Francis Coleman was confident was worth taking when she launched AquaPhysical. Launched in 2015, the company invented the world's first floating exercise mat and now sells to customers in over 50 countries across the globe.


Benji Lanyado – Picfair

Journalist turned entrepreneur Benji quit his job as a reporter for The Guardian back in 2013 and decided to launch his own tech start-up, having never written a line of code in his life. Today, Picfair, an online photo marketplace for photographers, boasts millions of free-to-use images and has raised over £1.5m in funding.


Peter Ramsey – Movem

Peter Ramsey was inspired to launch Movem, a prop-tech start-up making renting fairer and more trustworthy, after falling out with his landlord whilst studying at University. He dropped out of his four-year course just months before finishing and decided to invest all his time and energy into the business. Today, the platform is endorsed by more than 25 students’ unions.


Nathan Lowry - Easy Coffee

Stelios-backed Easy Coffee was founded by entrepreneur Nathan Lowry back in January 2016 in a bid to change the face of the coffee market. Offering coffee from as little as £1, the company now boasts six outlets across the UK from Edinburgh to Hastings and is hoping to establish a franchise model with 200 stores over the next three years.


The Emerging Entrepreneur Award for London & the South is sponsored by Glasgow Caledonian University’s London campus. Ruth Cawthorne, head of operations at GCU London, will be presenting the award on the night.

Cawthorne said: “The London shortlist contained some brilliant entrepreneurs who are taking some of life’s fundamentals – personal hygiene, moving to a new house, drinking coffee, fitness and photography amongst others – and using their entrepreneurial flair to make them better.

“The standard of applications made the task of selecting the shortlisted finalists extremely difficult. The shorting listing panel debated long and hard to determine who the final five applications would be.”


For more information on the event, click here.