Ever thought you could start a business? Picture the scene: you’re at your desk, or chatting with friends or even lying in bed when suddenly you have that rare Eureka moment and think of a great business idea.
Usually, you’d think about it for a minute or so, imagine the bundles of cash you’d make and then, just as quickly as its come, it’s gone again and you carry on with your everyday life. But just imagine if you didn’t. Imagine if you built on the idea by preparing a viable business plan, entering it into a competition and just a few months down the line find yourself pitching your plan to a roomful of early-stage investors and a panel of judges.
Well that’s exactly what happened on Tuesday night at the final of RBS EnterprisingU, the competition aimed at students and recent graduates run by RBS Group, LinkedIn and our client, FIG. With a share of £40,000 in cash up for grabs, more than 1,300 of the UK’s brightest young business brains entered and were subsequently whittled down to a shortlist of six finalists whose ideas ranged from a university sports media company to a charity advertising exchange marketplace.
The final provided a great opportunity to see some incredibly inspiring young people take centre stage and prove how passionate they are about making a business idea work, as well as enabling members of the media, including editors from Unquote and Director, to witness first-hand how business leaders of the future are being encouraged and nurtured.
Once all the pitches were complete and each business had been grilled by the impressive judging panel comprising Dylan Williams of Coutts, RBS’s Small Business Chairman, Peter Ibbetson, and Rupert Turnball, the Publisher of Wired, there was a tense hiatus as the judges deliberated before announcing the three winners.
We all knew this was going to be an incredibly tough decision, so to ensure no one took to biting all their finger nails off in the anticipation, we enjoyed an inspirational talk the video games designer, Peter Molyneux before he made the big announcement.
And the winner was… salesgossip, an online service that alerts fashionistas to the sales and promotions on the high street and web! What’s not to love? Second prize went to Ventive, a revolutionary ventilation company, while Windows Phone Geek, a marketplace for Windows Phone app developers, came third.
A great night was had by all and for fear of sounding a tad clichéd, there really were no losers. All the finalists had great potential and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from them in the future.