March 2013, Brighton, Sussex:
Rochelle Rekowski-Donovan of Enjoy Arts wins Young Start-up Talent – Brighton & Hove 2013
by Lorraine Nugent, of Brighton Marketing Agency Media Word Waves
The winner of the £50,000 prize fund for the Brighton & Hove entrepreneurial initiative, Young Start-up Talent 2013, was announced at an impressive show at Brighton Racecourse with an impressive staging, lighting and video production put together by SeeThat and AV specialists Avensys on Tuesday 26th March 2013.
Rochelle Rekouski-Donovan was announced as winner of the project with her business - Enjoy Arts which delivers high-quality, fun and affordable creative arts classes to all ages with an aim to promote physical, emotional and social development along with the flexibility in choosing different classes with an EnjoyArts art card.
Rochelle said, “I am astonished to have won the prize fund with such strong competition. I am really excited about the future and will be fully focused now on running and growing the business, I am looking forward to the year ahead. I have met some great people during the process and have thoroughly enjoyed this experience.”
The evening was hosted by the founders of the competition, Lorraine Nugent, MD of Sussex and Brighton Marketing agency Media Word Waves, and Matt Turner, MD of Creative Pod.
The other finalists for Brighton & Hove were Anya Krasnikova of Docs, Warren Munro of Morigami and Alice Larkin of Locketsmiths. All of the finalists had a trade stand at the event to showcase their businesses.
Stuart Dorn, General Manager of Brighton Racecourse and sponsor of the initiative opened the show and announced on the evening that Brighton Racecourse have awarded all the finalists a hospitality box on one of their race days.
Special guest speaker Stephen Mason who is a true entrepreneur, running several large businesses with a combined turnover of over £60million told the audience of his entrepreneurial journey and passed on tips to the youngsters. “In watching the video and meeting Rochelle, a well-deserved winner - education is a good area of business to be in.”
Alan Cook and one of the judges commented “Rochelle blew us away with her overall passion and drive for her business - superb. Dean Orgill from Mayo Wynne Baxter, another judge said “It’s fantastic to announce the first female winner of Young Start-up Talent in Brighton”.
Mike Weatherley MP for Hove narrated the DVD that was shown during the event and commented “Starting a business can be a scary experience but there is no feeling like it. This initiative seeks out those who thrive on the experience.” Finalists from a previous year, George Fisher also spoke at the event about the opportunities that Young Start-up Talent has created for him.
The winner of the Gatwick Diamond 2013 prize fund, Sam French of Sam’s Kitchen spoke about what happened since he won just three weeks previously and of his ongoing plans for the future of the business. Sam talked about the huge amount of press coverage after winning and of the meetings and new business he has already secured.
A video of the Dragons Den style final that was filmed by SeeThat at the Jury’s Inn a few weeks ago was played to the audience with the help of AV specialists Avensys. Each of the finalists had the daunting task of standing in front of a panel of the seven judges, plus numerous cameras and studio staff from SeeThat, and was put through a series of challenging questions about their business idea.
"The standard of the four finalists was very high which made it a tough decision", said judge Matt Tyson of Richard Place, "all of the finalists had put a lot of hard work and thought into their pitches and business plans, and I am sure they will all go on to run successful businesses."
Six students from the ‘cabin crew’ course at City College were present during the event on work experience to help guide and serve canapés to the guests. “I was very impressed with the students as they were professional, friendly, smartly dressed and did a brilliant job” added Lorraine Nugent – Founding Partner and judge of the project.