We had a fantastic evening at the annual BVC Awards on Tuesday night as well as a lot of chocolate! The six finalists arrived just before 5pm bringing with them a swarm of butterflies in their tummies. Standing up in front of a room full of people explaining your idea is a big thing; I know I couldn’t have done it.
The sun beamed through the atrium as guests arrived taking the opportunity to network while enjoying light refreshments. The room warmed up with their passion for enterprise as they chatted away about their excitement for seeing the six finalists pitch their ideas and eager anticipation of hearing from Jo Fairley about her story of co-founding Green & Blacks, which of course naturally sparked them to move onto their love for chocolate.
The evening kick started with an inspiring keynote speech from the co-founder of organic chocolate brand Green and Blacks who admitted she was indeed a chocoholic and advised that “luck is what you have left over when you’ve given 100%”
The motivating talk from Jo fittingly made way for the 6 finalists to pitch their start-up ideas for cash prizes and business support from our sponsors. We witnessed a range of outstanding pitches across 3 award categories.
Abdul Khan, a biomedical student was the first finalist to grace the stage with his luxury tie brand William and Cooper. Abdul thrown in some humorous one liner’s about the affordability of his product before confidently explaining the impressive stats that were displayed on his market research slide,
Computer game loving Darrell Wright created a wonderfully animated presentation which reflected his passion for game design. Darrell was a winner of our start-up bursary in 2013 with his idea was Mad Donkey Games, a games studio that aimed to produce engaging and enjoyable games for platforms such as PC, Xbox, iOS and Android.
Next up to pitch her idea to the audience was DMU staff member Deborah Robertson with The Moth, AKA the Mobile Technology Hub. The bright orange and white coloured scheme PowerPoint clearly demonstrated how she wanted to turn technology moths into makers through digital making fabrication workshops & training.
Design Crafts student Livia Jacquemin presented her handmade ceramic jewellery and vessels brand Angry Pixie. Livia was passionate about her art, how unique each creation is and the level of care taken to finish them off to a high quality.
Martina Ogunsina took to the stage to pitch Vickky’s Afro-Carribean and Asian Food Store for the business award. An idea that aimed to bring healthy and ethically sourced farm produce within the reach of the Afro-Caribbean and Asian communities at reasonable prices through an online website.
Last but not least to pitch at the awards was Design Crafts graduate, Nina Judge. Marmalade Mudpie and Me create fun and decorative handmade ceramic and textile items. The colourful PowerPoint fitted the business idea well and demonstrated how Nina wanted to grow the business further.
Before the winners of each category were announced, Chris Gordon, Director of De Montfort University’s enterprise society WIRE DMU spoke to the audience about the work WIRE have been doing over the academic year. Unbeknown to Chris he’d been asked to present at the BVC under false pretences and was awarded with the Enterprise Champion Award for his contribution to enterprise on campus throughout the year.
It was time for the butterflies to go wilder, as the sponsors of each award stood on the stage and spoke about the winner of their award category, the few seconds of a silence before the winner was announced must have felt like minutes to them. The winners of each category were:
Creative – Sponsored by Creative Leicestershire
Nina Judge – Marmalade Mudpie & Me
Business – Sir Thomas White Loans
Abdul Khan – William and Cooper
Technology and Innovation – Prospect IP and Marketest
Deborah Robertson – The Moth
CEO Enterprise Award – Charnwood Accountants
Abdul Khan – William and Cooper
The last two awards of the night were supported by business start-up programme Enterprise Inc. Participant of the Year was awarded to Alex Mazzetelli who started up his upcycling business Unique Design Statement whilst on the programme during 2013. Gareth Dakin started his photography business Rococo Imaging with the help of Enterprise Inc and received the runner up prize.
Thank you to all that attended our Business Venture Competition Awards Ceremony last year!