Following lots of hard work, business workshops and presentations, Young Start-up Talent (YST), an entrepreneurial initiative aimed at 16 to 25 years old, was proud to host a virtual Showcase event for the South East’s finest young entrepreneurs on Wednesday 30 September 2020. It was announced that Anthony Mellor of White2Label Manufacturing, who specialises in both white label and bespoke product services for sportswear brands was voted the overall and lucky winner of the 2020 business prize fund of products and services.
Following the announcement, Anthony commented, “I am absolutely thrilled to have won this year, especially as the other finalists were such strong contenders - I wish them all the best for the future. This award is a great achievement and I look forward to working further with the YST team to progress the business further.”
Anthony now plans to continue moving forward with his business, solidifying his relationships and getting to know the business community, allowing him to strengthen White2Label Manufacturing’s offer further.
Ana Christie, CEO of the Sussex Chamber of Commerce, stated; “This has been a tough year for all businesses and particularly for young entrepreneurs just starting out. It has been brilliant to see how the candidates have continued to develop over the last six months during a very difficult and challenging time and good to see how they have taken on board all our advice moving forward”.
A fellow judge, John Redfern, Director of Corporate and Commercial South East Region - NatWest, also commented; “Anthony is a very worthy winner, all of the finalists were of very high standard. It was tough to pick a winner this year!”
The YST team worked hard to find the very best young entrepreneurs living across the South East region during the year. The successful applicants were then invited to a business workshop before they faced a selection of local business professionals in a 1-2-1 styled speed-networking, where they gained invaluable advice on how to develop both themselves and their business. From there, the candidates were whittled down to just five finalists.
The finalists pitched their refined business plans to a panel of five judges at the offices of Thales UK. On top of this, the finalists had to hold their nerve in front of a film crew, as their pitches were recorded and shown prior to the Showcase event via YouTube. During the showcase, the final five pitched ‘virtually’ live to an audience of business professionals and heads of education via Zoom. After an audience and judges final vote and a tense wait, the announcement of the winner was revealed as Anthony Mellor of White2Label Manufacturing. The business specialises in both white label and bespoke product services for sportswear brands. Utilising extensive supply chain management, the business is able to offer a comprehensive bespoke service for businesses looking to produce custom garments for their brand as well as offering fast turnaround times through a white label tailored service.
Young Start-up Talent was also honoured to welcome previous winners as guest speakers to the virtual event, William Venner, Winner of YST 2019 and Harry Daymond, winner from 2017.
The five finalists who took part in the virtual event and impressed the judges with their professional pitches, included:
Logan Leckie, with his business ‘Topia’ - the first ever app built for the rapidly growing Financial Independence (FI) movement. Topia provides the tools, resources and structure to help it's users achieve financial independence. Through open banking users can easily track and monitor their progress while additional features allow users to see what sort of effect their spending habits are having on their timeline to financial independence. This allows users to optimise their journey and achieve financial freedom quickly and effectively. Logan commented; “I am very excited to continue forward after learning so much from the judges and other candidates!”
Zak Lloyd, with his business ‘DelivrMe’ - a revolutionary on-demand app that connects people to independent delivery contractors. The App acts as the users personal shopper, instructing our contractors to shop, pick up or drop off items for them. It’s an on-demand delivery and pickup platform. Zak stated; “Although I’m disappointed I didn’t win, I am very excited for the future of DelivrMe having recently launched a working test version of the app!”
Carmel Kalani - Spice up your Life
And finally, Carmel Kalani with her business ‘Spice up your Life’, an app that inspireds consumers to engage with international organic spice farmers as if they were locals. Users learn how to informatively use spices, whilst consciously contributing to improving the livelihoods of the spice farmers. Carmel commented; “I feel so proud to have being selected as a finalist and learnt so much throughout the process”.
Dave Kickham, Deputy VP Industrial Operations, Thales UK, finished by adding; “It was great to continue our support for the initiative and to engage with these talented young entrepreneurs, as a whole it has been fantastic to be a part of. I am happy Anthony won, he is an extremely worthy winner.”
Finally, the Young Start-up Talent team would like to thank all the judges, sponsors and young entreprenuers who took part this year and have helped make the YST 2020 initiative to be a brilliant success. We would also like to thank the team behind the scenes, who ensured the whole process ran smoothly.
Sponsors of the initiative and who all contribute to the prize fund are as follows:
Crawley Borough Council