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Leeds start-ups scoop thousands at entrepreneuring awards

Start-up businesses based at Entrepreneurial Spark’s Leeds Hatchery shared around £35,000 in prizes after pitching their plans in the prestigious Entrepreneuring Awards.

Among the winners were Dignity Wear, which claimed the #GoDo prize of £4,000, and Do You Punctuate, which won the Acceler8 Award and £6,000.

Taking the Entrepreneur of the Moment Award and a huge £10,000 was Maiden-Voyage and winning the Chiclet Choice Award and £2,000 was Your Very Own Story.

Run by Entrepreneurial Spark and supported by partners NatWest and KPMG, the awards offer cash prizes aimed at helping early-stage businesses to get off the ground and grow.

Dale Sidebottom, entrepreneur development manager at NatWest, said: “The Chiclets have grown and developed considerably over the last few months and it was fantastic to see how some of them have evolved during the pitching competition.

“The awards evening was a fantastic night with much to celebrate with all of the Chiclets, and we congratulate all of them on their hard work and efforts.”

Ian Beaumont, head of KPMG Enterprise in Yorkshire, which supports Entrepreneurial Spark and its Chiclets, said: “The calibre of the start-ups within the Leeds hatchery means it is no surprise that we’ve seen some truly worthy winners.

“It’s fantastic to see entrepreneurs with such innovative ideas, which they have been able to turn into the businesses of tomorrow. No doubt we’ll be seeing great things from these winners!”

Entrepreneurial Spark founder and chief executive Jim Duffy said: “The Entrepreneuring Awards have grown alongside our network of Hatcheries, and the latest round was the biggest yet.

The cash prizes are an excellent way of boosting some of our most promising businesses and accelerating their growth, and the events also provide valuable networking opportunities and pitching practice.

“Entrepreneurs need to be able to explain their business briefly and concisely, and they never know when they might meet a potential investor, client or partner. That’s why we drill our Chiclets to ensure that they are clear on their goals and able to pitch their ideas.”

Entrepreneurs put the skills learned at Bootcamp and over the past six months into practice as they pitched their business at the gala event. Winners of the pitching competition, as well as the #GoDo Awards, Acceler8 Awards and others, shared thousands of pounds to help develop their business ideas and put their plans into action.

The evening featured public speaker and member of Huddersfield University Advisory Board Ajaz Ahmad, as well as speakers from among Entrepreneurial Spark’s team of Enablers and representatives of partner NatWest.

Ajaz Ahmad is a successful public speaker and column writer as well as having run large corporates and dealt with MBOs.

The awards ceremony in Leeds coincided with others at Entrepreneurial Spark’s Hatcheries across the UK.

Entrepreneurial Spark is the world’s largest free accelerator for start-up and scale-up businesses, and competition for the latest intake to its accelerator programmes was intense.

To find the nearest Hatchery and register interest for the August 2016 intake, visit

Taking the Entrepreneur of the Moment Award and a huge 10000 was Maiden-Voyage
Taking the Entrepreneur of the Moment Award and £10,000 was Maiden-Voyage

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