We came across the Young Start-up Talent (YST) Facebook page just a couple of days before their application deadline for the competition. After discussing it over with the team, we decided to reach out and speak to some of the previous participants. Nick Musto with his company Radar and winner of the 2016 YST competition in Brighton as well as Hannah Weir from Telephonium, a participant from the 2017 competition in Chichester, had both shared how the YST helped them and their business move forward. That is when we thought; there was no way would miss such an incredible opportunity to be part of this competition. With just a day away from the competition results (15/02/2017) we just wanted to share with you just three things that the YST has helped us with since we decided to take part.
Unbelievable Networking Opportunities
It was amazing to have the opportunity to speak and share ideas with other like-minded fellow entrepreneurs which were passionate and excited about their fields. Every entrepreneur knows that running a start-up has constant challenges and it was great to share stories with each other about both our achievements and struggles. Being around people with a similar mindset helps boost your spirits and keeps you going! We also had the chance to speak with YST mentors and investors at a speed networking activity which gave us invaluable feedback on our ideas. We had never done anything like it before, and it helped us refine our pitch as we only had 10 minutes with each mentor/investor.
The Business Plan
We had been meaning to put a business plan together for a while, but it seems like we never got around to doing it because things always got in the way. We can tell you right now if there is one thing that has changed EVERYTHING towards the better it was putting together a business plan for this competition. This gave us the ability to drill down and improve upon every single aspect of the business. It brought the team closer together because we now have a clearer and shared vision of where we are and where we are headed. In fact, we decided to review the business plan once a month to make sure that we stay on track. We have adapted, changed and refined our business idea hundreds of times since its inception so this is why it was crucial to go back and review the plan systematically.
One of the things we learned when it comes to startups is that investors do not just care about good ideas, they care about the team and its co-founders. At the end of the day, it is all about presenting and being able to come across confident, knowing your stuff and having the ability sell yourself, as well as the idea. It was the first time we had to pitch in front of cameras and a Dragon’s Den style pitch, but it gave us a glimpse of what future pitches might be like. We now feel more confident in presenting our idea to potential partners, sponsors and more. In fact, we left the competition and secured two sponsorships two days later thanks to the amount of time we took refining our presentation.
There is no doubt that this competition has helped Brighton Greeks immensely over the past months and we highly recommend the competition to every single entrepreneur out there that has an idea that he or she wants to take forward. Lorraine Nugent, Rob Nunn and Matt Turner, as well as the rest of the YST team, have been incredibly helpful and supportive in our journey. It is definitely worth applying because the process is invaluable, winning is a bonus, and we look forward to finding out the results tomorrow. Click here if you are interested in finding out more about the YST or reach out to us, we are always happy to help.