Promising Welsh start-ups awarded with £24,000 in prizes

A range of Welsh start-up businesses taking part on the Entrepreneurial Spark incubator scheme have been awarded with £24,000 worth of prizes and funding.

Run in partnership with NatWest, KPMG, Dell EMC and Pinsent Masons, the Entrepreneuring Awards recognised the growth and achievements of early-stage businesses.

The awards were handed out to businesses and entrepreneurs nearing the end of their journey on the free business accelerator. In total, twelve of the organisation’s hubs held awards nights.

Held last week, the Cardiff-based event brought together entrepreneurs, enablers, bank staff and other special guests to celebrate investments and growth milestones.

As well as pitching to delegates, the entrepreneurs and businesses also had the chance to win £7,000 in additional business growth funding. Entrepreneur of the Moment was the night’s main gong.

Speaking after the event, Lucy-Rose Walker, CEO of Entrepreneurial Spark, said: “I’m absolutely blown away by the quality and drive displayed by the entrepreneurs on this journey.

“Every award was fully deserved tonight and every entrepreneur winner or not, has grown and taken huge steps to becoming credible, backable and investable.”

IDroppedIt was one of the tech-focused businesses to win a prize during the ceremony. Founded by Jonathan Bridge, the company provides an on-the-road smartphone repair service.

The company won £1000 in the pitching competition. He told Tech Dragons: “As part of espark, the aim is to make entrepreneurs credible, backable and investible.

“Part of this was to develop a 60 second elevator pitch to describe your business. Over the past 6 months we have created a sales pitch that has been practised polished to the best of our ability.

“From around 70 initial entrepreneurs, it got narrowed down to 8 finalists to pitch live to an audience on the final awards night. iDropped It was voted the best out of these firms.

“Espark has helped me enormously to develop a clear mindset & vision towards the business that I am looking to create. I am building a network of nationwide technicians using a franchise model.

Jonathan said that he has big plans for the future in terms of growth and that he’ll receive further support and advice from the scheme over the next few months.

He added: “Luckily, I’m through to the next stage of the programme, which will give me an extra 12 months of support and guidance. Over the next 12 months, we will expand the business throughout South Wales and then nationwide.”