Networking and investment opportunities – it’s all in a day’s work for Essex Startups

“Amazing entrepreneurs pitch for investment at our networking extravaganza”

Essex Startups networking events are always a success and the latest event at our Start-Up Hub was pretty amazing.

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Supporting entrepreneurs at Essex

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As a Class of 2016 student I attended some networking events and I actually pitched for the investment once myself. I enjoyed them, especially the opportunity to talk to business owners and experts, it really is a great way to network.

Now, as a member of staff, I helped to organise and run the event and I am finding it even more inspirational and valuable.

Our fabulous new Start-Up Hub

Held at our new Start-Up Hub over at Parkside for the first time, we had a great turnout of 35, including: students, Essex University staff and guests from outside the university. One of the highlights was that we were able to hire Zizzy Bar, one of our very own start-ups who specialise in amazing ‘mocktails’ and cocktails.

Everyone who attended loved the drinks and it was a great opportunity for us to showcase our passionate Essex Startups. Zizzy Bar and their staff really were a wonderful addition to the event.

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The super exciting part of this networking event was that Essex students and graduates got the opportunity to pitch for a small investment for their business of £300.

12 individuals participated. They had 2 minutes to pitch their business idea to the room (including the judges) and had strict criteria for the content which made it a tough task but they all did an amazing job.

They showed passion and enthusiasm and engaged the entire room. It was such a privilege to part of the event.

And the ideas……

The students had some fantastic ideas, including: a sports promotion network; a community baking initiative for small producers to sell their products and help reduce food waste; a medical advice support app; a cookie company; an lingerie company; a music promotion platform; a health food vending machine for universities; a make-up artists platform, and; a business designed to help people fulfill their bucket list aspirations.

And the winners are….

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After much deliberation, the judges – including: myself, Christine Michaelis (Enterprise Officer) and Simon Mead (Incubation Centre Manager) – awarded a first and second prize as it was agreed that 2 of the businesses deserved investment.

After re-entering the room to some nervous looking participants, Christine announced the lucky winners. The £300 went to Stacey Roberts and £200 went to Esther Isichei both of whom have businesses selling bespoke fashion items and are concerned with sourcing their products responsibly and ethically.

The judges were impressed with all of the ideas, but Stacey and Esther stood out with their pitches and their confidence of delivery and what they stood for as a business.

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We would like to extend congratulations to our winners and would like to thank everyone who attended. We look forward to the next event.

If you’d like to get involved with Essex Startups, like our Facebook page to discover what amazing opportunities we offer our students here at the University of Essex.

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