Mentors take on five finalists in Start Up! Stamford competition

The Start Up! Stamford judging panel. Martin Fox, who runs Bulletin Marketing. EMN-140916-163316001
The Start Up! Stamford judging panel. Martin Fox, who runs Bulletin Marketing. EMN-140916-163316001
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Five business ideas from young entrepreneurs have made it through to the second round of a youth startup competition.

The shortlisted youngsters in the Start Up! Stamford contest are now developing their ideas with the help of mentors from the business world.

The competition was opened to those aged 17 to 21 and living withing about 10 miles of Stamford in September. It was the brainchild of marketing expert and business coach Martin Fox. It is being run by the Stamford Youth Business Development Trust with the support of Stamford and Bourne MP Nick Boles (Con).

Mr Fox said: “There are some really interesting ideas. We have been very impressed.”

Martin, along with a team of business leaders, picked the five entries to form a shortlist for the second round. These entries will now be assigned a mentor, some of whom are pictured above, to help develop their idea.

The entrepreneurs have until the end of February to come up with a complete plan. They will then face a Dragon’s Den-style grilling from the panel of judges, after which a winner will be picked. The prize for the best business idea is initial funding of up to £5,000, provided by sponsorship from businesses in the area.

The winner will also get free mentoring and support from both self-employed business people that have created successful businesses and specialists in law, accountancy, IT, HR and marketing. And there will be the opportunity to make local contacts and join networking organisations.

The final five, picked from pupils at Stamford Endowed Schools and the Deepings School, and students at New College Stamford, are:

○ Cameron Jarvis - computer repair services.

○ Marek Sklenka and Nathan Lam - language school.

○ Mitchell Ede - radio controlled equipment.

○ Joe Hambleton - clothing brand.

○ Becky Johnson - architecture and design.

Mr Fox said: “The competition has been a success so far. I’m thrilled with it. And we will come up with someone who we can support with starting up their business.”