Sheffield Hallam entrepreneur wins star prize

Sheffield Hallam entrepreneur wins star prize

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

As part of the programme, seven young entrepreneurs – a mixture of students and recent graduates from Yorkshire universities – competed for investment in front of a panel of some of the region’s top business advisors. 

Sheffield Hallam’s Hannah Duraid, founder of the popular local escape room experience, The Escape Game, was chosen by the panel as the overall winner of the pitch, winning The President’s Award and a series of business mentoring sessions.

Hannah will now go to the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels – an investment network through which entrepreneurs seeking equity investment can grow their business.

Huddersfield University’s Alex Malkin and Dale Green, founders of social media start-up, BitHive, and Leeds University’s Toma Paro, founder of discounting app, Yellow Label were chosen by the panel as runners-up in the pitch, winning a £1,200 business grant and a series of business mentoring sessions.

Entrepreneurs pitched their business proposals at the event, held at Grant Thornton in Leeds on June 13th, 2016 to a panel including business advisor and angel investor Rachel Hannan and Jeremy Wilson from WGN Chartered Accountants.

In March, a day-long Coaching for Investment Readiness workshop was held to help prepare applicants for the programme.

Sessions were held on raising finance, structuring deals, presenting financial information and producing business plans. Seven entrepreneurs were then selected to move onto the final stage of the programme. 

Winning entrepreneur, Hannah Duraid, said: “It’s been wonderful to meet all the different entrepreneurs today and to learn about what the Angel Investors want to see, which has been really insightful.

“The mentoring sessions will help us review how we’re going to scale, and will hopefully lead the business down a very successful route.

“My advice to any young entrepreneur in Sheffield would be to take every opportunity that there is, be that in terms of money, knowledge or skills, there are lots of avenues out there that can help you.”

Chris Manners, Regional Director at ICAEW West Yorkshire, said: “ICAEW is committed to helping Yorkshire’s young and talented entrepreneurs grow their businesses. 

“We were delighted to welcome the seven finalists to pitch in front of our panel of business advisors.

“All the pitches that made it to the final stage of the Coaching for Investment Readiness Programme were of exceptional quality – I’m sure each and every one of these seven talented entrepreneurs has a successful business future ahead of them.”


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