Release Date: 01/06/2012
The competition to become the winner of The Richmond’s Den is hotting up as 12 business hopefuls prepare to battle it out for a place in the grand final.
A team of business experts have completed the tough task of short listing 12 residents from the 95 who entered the contest to go through to the semi-final. The Richmond’s Den, a joint venture from Richmond Council and the Richmond Social Enterprise Partnership, will provide successful entrants with valuable business start up assistance.
The winner will receive a £10,000 prize pot to help launch their idea and receive invaluable one-to-one mentoring advice from the Chamber of Commerce. Runners up will receive prize packages worth £1,000. The 12 short listed candidates are due to pitch their proposals to a panel of experienced business people on Thursday 14th June at the Richmond Business School, Parkshot, Richmond. The entries have to demonstrate how their proposal could become viable and sustainable, with assistance, while keeping a focus on a social objective and Richmond.
The panel will select three contestants to go through to the final presentation event on Thursday 28th June at Richmond The American International University in London, on Richmond Hill, at 6.30pm. The trio will then outline their ideas to special guests, Sir Trevor McDonald, broadcaster, John Bird, the founder of the Big Issue, and Zac Goldsmith MP for Richmond Park & North Kingston, who will judge the final pitches and present the awards.
Cllr Pamela Fleming said: “We have been extremely impressed by the high standard of the business ideas and the number of people who entered, which just goes to prove how much entrepreneurial spirit there is in the borough.
“It was very difficult to short list the 12 applicants and the next stage will be equally tough. We have received a wide range of ideas, ranging from novel inventions to tried and tested businesses. Parenting and childcare has emerged as a strong theme, along with sourcing local produce, health, exercise, social care and web-based enterprises and Apps. Each entry will be considered very carefully and will be judged on the criteria we set out at the beginning of the process.
”I am looking forward to meeting some of the people who have entered and can’t wait to see some of their ideas being turned into viable businesses. Equally, we will not forget the entrants who did not make it into the final stage, and everyone will be invited to attend a special event where experts will offer networking opportunities and specialist support to take business ideas forward. I am also absolutely delighted and honoured that so many inspirational people have agreed to judge the competition.”
The judging panel for the semi final consists of Richard Paddington, Commercial Banking Director of Metro Bank, local businessman Jason Roberts, the founder of Tech 21, who secured the backing for his business on The BBC’s Dragon’s Den, Rachel McLean, local social entrepreneur and founder of Sanity’s Sake, and Sarah Thomas, Executive Director of Customer Service at Richmond Housing Partnership.
Confirmed sponsors so far are BAA Heathrow, Rugby Football Union, Petersham Nurseries and Olympic Cinema / Empire Design in Barnes, Veolia Environmental Services, Metrobank, Richmond Adult community college and Richmond CVS, Richmond Housing Partnership, Social Enterprise Richmond, Richmond The American International University, London and Richmond Chamber of Commerce.