Start-up boost for talented graduates
Entrepreneurial graduates from London Business School have been given an unprecedented boost as they look to launch their own business ventures.
The School’s Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship gave seven promising graduate businesses an injection of support at its inaugural Founder Awards on 8 November.
The winning start-ups – spanning social entrepreneurship, fashion, health and medicine, fitness and sport – had already benefitted from initial support from leading academics and expert entrepreneurs as part of the School’s Incubator programme. After a competitive elevator pitch and business plan presentation, seven new businesses won a package of support, including:
• a year-long place in the School’s Incubator
• a small cash injection
• mentoring from Deloitte and London Business School faculty
• alumni mentorship
• Access to training and workshops
• An opportunity to network with the angel members and gain advice in crafting pitches
• Pro bono branding workshop and one-to-one consultation from leading brand consultancy, Landor Associates.
The School’s Incubator houses students who are launching their own business straight from their degree programme. The Incubator allows occupants to continue to use the School’s facilities and remain part of the-on campus community. Valued enormously by its occupants, it enables them to provide support for each other. The work of the Incubator gives back a tremendous amount to the School community – inspiring the next generation of innovators to learn from their experiences.
Jeff Skinner, Executive Director, Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, said: “Entrepreneurship is one of the major strengths of the School and we are immensely proud of the many ventures our alumni have developed; creating sustained wealth, employment and growth.
“Each year, a number of students start their own venture after graduating, and often they base their business on ideas developed at the School. These ventures face an array of challenges and need all the support we can give, especially in these uncertain times.”
This year’s Founder Awards winners are:
• Chanta London: an affordable luxury handbag brand designed to meet the needs of busy working women that look for quality, design and practicality at reasonable prices. Chanta London’s vision is to support young designers and women entrepreneurs to start their own companies, spreading the wealth and goodwill across countries and people.
• LocalPay: a cash payment gateway that allows ecommerce merchants to accept cash payment for their online sales. Consumers can shop online and pay cash at a local branch of a retail bank using a unique reference number provided by LocalPay (www.localpay.me)
• NeuroLogic Medical Solutions: designs and commercialises medical devices used in neurosurgery. It focuses on surgical tools that meet the needs of surgeons during operations. NeuroLogic Medical Solutions focuses on bringing new and innovative medical technologies from idea to implementation (www.neurologicmed.com)
• PlayEnable: an online aggregating hub for their customers – sports enthusiasts – to find and book classes and memberships at sports facilities and gyms. PlayEnable aggregates relevant sports facilities across multiple sports and geographies making it easy for sports and fitness enthusiasts to choose and book directly via an online platform (www.playenable.com)
• Shivspix.com: Everyday amazing athletes push themselves to the limits, achieving amazing feats in the process. And yet, for the most part we never hear their stories because most are not professional athletes with lucrative endorsements and their faces on magazine covers. Shivspix tells these untold stories through ebooks delivered online to sports fans across the world
• Skin Analytics: a cloud-based service to help people monitor themselves for small changes in their moles. Changes in moles are the most significant indicator of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Users take photos over time of their skin using their existing smartphone or digital camera. Images are automatically analysed using advanced mathematics techniques to classify unique characteristics, which relate to key features such as asymmetry, border, colour and size. Skin Analytics will automatically warn the user of any changes detected and produce a report that can be shared with an appropriate medical professional (www.skinanalytics.co.uk)
• Travelst: a global travel list management platform that connects travel content across the web. Travelst work with the leading travel publishers and commerce companies to power their travel lists, which can increase user engagement by up to 400%. Its ambition is to become a sustainable entrepreneurial venture that creates wealth and employment in the global economy. (www.thetravelst.com)
Paul Fletcher, Private Markets practice senior partner at Deloitte, added: “Entrepreneurs play a critical role in securing a strong and sustainable recovery for the UK economy and it is vital that businesses such as those being recognised by the Founder Awards receive all the support they need. We look forward to bringing business community support and expertise to these confident Founders and exciting businesses over the coming 12 months.”