Business Start-Up Journey Finalists Announced

Business Start-Up Journey

The finalists have been chosen for this year’s Business Start-Up Journey pitching finals, with start-up plans including a vegan e-commerce site, swimwear, nutrition and fitness app and a portable light ring.

A panel including ASPIRE Project Officer, Rebecca Smith, and ASPIRE Investor in Residence, Karen Winton, selected 9 student business ideas to go through to the virtual competition which will be held on March 31 on Zoom.

Students who will take part in the contest come from Kent Business School, Economics, Sport and Computing and were chosen from a strong field of candidates.

Mercy Adeniji (Economics with German), Jessica Lambert (Sport and Exercise Science), Emmanuel Ojo-Williams and Miguel Cardona Polo (Computer Science), Geraldine Nyathi (Computer Science MsC) Shanice Edwards, Viktoria Bogos, Naavyaa Rangen, Daniella Coxall (KBS) will prepare 5-minute pitches to be sent to the judging panel ahead of March 31. Then on the live Zoom competition, they will present a two-minute elevator pitch and face questions from the judges.

The judging panel is:

  • Daniel Rubin, founder and CEO of the global footwear brand Dune London and University of Kent alumnus.
  • Laura Bounds MBE, owner of award-winning food companies Kent Crisps, Kentish Oils, Kentish Condiments and A Little Bit Food Co.
  • Dean Johnson, Managing Director of international medi-tech company Haag Streit UK.
  • Emay Enemokwu, founder of the street-wear brand Jehu-cal, former Business Start-Up Journey finalist and Kent Business School alumnus.
  • Nadia Simpson, founder of natural beauty brand Nadia Esi, former Business Start-Up Journey finalist and Kent Business School final stage Accounting and finance student.
  • Kevin Bardwell, Relationship Manager at Santander Universities, which supports the Business Start-Up Journey

The winner of the pitching competition will receive £1000 to help start their business, with two runners-up prizes of £500 each. While the judges decide on the winners, finalists and the audience can compete in a fun quiz with the chance to win £100 to spend at selected ASPIRE start-up businesses.

Previous Business Start-Up Journey finalists have gone on to run successful businesses, including KBS alumnus Vasu Sarin, founder of medi-tech company TabCare, Politics graduate, Tobi Kolawole-Olutade, founder of RR Collective, Ruth Vanderfaille, co-founder of Real Brides and Esther Asaolu, Jelikatu Kamara and Fatima Kamate, co-founders of Shady Beauty.