National enterprise crown in sight as two Loughborough College businesses make 2017 final

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Two new businesses from Loughborough College have the Young Enterprise Start-Up Company of the Year 2017 title in sight after their triumph in the regional finals this week secured them both a place in the national head to head.

A day and evening of challenges hosted by the College, with special guests including Nicky Morgan MP and theatre and events company boss Karl Strickland, saw industry experts hear Dragon’s Den-style pitches, judge official trade stands and interview entrepreneurs before Dynamic Sporting Solutions was declared winner and fellow College company Kitless was selected to join them at next month’s showdown.

Eleven fledgling companies created by Loughborough College degree students showcased their ideas to a judging panel including Bina Sitaram, Director of Earth Buds – a social enterprise educating children about the environment, Ken Horn, Director of Kick Off in Business - which provides business start-up support and Chris Jones, Director of print, data and strategic marketing company Lock Stock Print.

Dynamic Sporting Solutions secured their national final spot after scooping the Best Start-Up Company top prize as well as the award for Best Use of IT with Harry Rudkin and Jonah Boyce aiming to develop The Stud Master, a durable universal tool to efficiently and safely attach and remove sport boot studs.

Hannah D’Arcy, James Teagle and Taylor Campbell together form Kitless, whose plans to develop an innovative goal-keeping glove specific to female football players earned them a triple, with awards for Best Investment Proposal, Best Start-Up Business Plan and Best Trade Stand – ensuring they will also line up with young entrepreneurs from across the country at the final.

The Innovation Award went to Absorb for their high performance supportive sports shoe insole. Best Presentation was won by Covers of Steel for their device integrating a cover and stand to hold open a book while their company director Theo Brown took the Entrepreneurial Student of the Year Award after his business mentor Peter Smith praised his leadership, his ability to constantly improve and his willingless to also take on the role of finance director – learning all the relevant skills from scratch to create an impressive business plan.

“Loughborough College had more than 40 students competing in the regional final and the judges were incredibly impressed with the standard of the businesses’ ideas, their plans for development and their presentation.

“In fact there has been a suggestion that the quality of presentation was so high that the students could offer their services to other businesses.

“Our team, including our Higher Education Employment Advisor Neelum Savania, have supported our students throughout their preparations and each group of entrepreneurs worked with a business mentor and now Dynamic Sporting Solutions and Kitless will be supported by Eric Bradley and Ric Newton respectively as they prepare for the national final next month – alongside their final year degree assignments of course,” said Iqbal Ullah, who heads the Foundation Degree in Business Management at Loughborough College.

Shabana Sumra, Lecturer for Loughborough College's Business, Events & Tourism Management degree courses, supported students working behind the scenes to organize and ensure the event ran smoothly.

The Young Enterprise Start-Up Company of the Year 2017 takes place in Liverpool on 10 May.

Pictured: Regional winners Loughborough College degree students Harry Rudkin (right) and Jonah Boyce, whose company Dynamic Sporting Solutions is set to compete in the 2017 Young Enterprise Start-Up Company of the Year national final. They are joined by (centre) judge Ken Horn

See more from the YE Start-Up Company of the Year 2017 regional finals here:

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