Entrepreneurs from Yorkshire Universities compete for business grant

Entrepreneurs from Yorkshire Universities compete for business grant

The West Yorkshire division of the Institute for Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) is to deliver the final stage of a three-part Investment Readiness Programme in partnership with Yorkshire universities.

The initiative, which supports ICAEW’s Business Advice Service, allows seven students and recent graduates from Yorkshire universities to compete for investment in front of a panel of the region’s top business advisors. 

Seven entrepreneurs from Yorkshire Universities will pitch their business proposals at the event, which is to be held at Grant Thornton in Leeds on 13 June.

The panel of investors includes business advisor and angel investor Rachel Hannan, and Jeremy Wilson from WGN Chartered Accountants.

The finalists of this year’s event are:

  • Alex Malkin from Huddersfield University with gaming news website, Bithive
  • Iasha Masood from Huddersfield University with wholesale apparel production line, Fairsha
  • Raymond Pelekamoyo from Leeds Beckett University with celebrity gossip website, 3rd Culture Kid
  • Toma Paro from the University of Leeds with discount app, Yellow Label
  • Luca Bodello from University of Leeds with community investment business, Munis
  • Laura Newbould Jones from Sheffield Hallam University with short film production company, CreativeMETAPHOR
  • Hannah Duraid from Sheffield Hallam University with escape room experience, The Great Escape Game
    • The finalists will each have five minutes to pitch their business to the panel, with ICAEW West Yorkshire awarding a £1,000 grant for business development to each of the the two winners.

      In March a day-long Investment Readiness workshop was held to prepare applicants for the programme, where Sessions where they could attend sessions on raising finance, structuring deals, presenting financial information and producing business plans.

      Lauren Nicholson, who won the President’s Award last year for her online greetings card start-up Remember the Date, is using the grant to help restructure her business.

      She said: “Winning the Investment Readiness programme enabled me to take my idea of implementing video messages into greetings cards forward and make plans for the future.

      “With the help from the funding, the business will relaunch video cards later this year.”

      Chris Manners, regional director at ICAEW West Yorkshire, said: “Following the success of last year’s programme, we received almost double the number of applications this year, which made choosing our seven finalists no easy feat.

      “ICAEW is committed to helping Yorkshire’s young and talented entrepreneurs grow their businesses.  We’re very much looking forward to hearing the pitches from the seven entrepreneurs who have made it to the final stage.”