Local entrepreneurs pitch their way to share of £15k in start-up funding
10 March 2023
Nine entrepreneurs from the Derry City and Strabane District Council area this week made a successful pitch to a panel of expert judges to claim their share of thousands of pounds in start-up funding.
The business owners were taking part in Derry Strabane Enterprise Week’s Start Up Launch Pad pitching competition at the North West Regional College’s Foyle Theatre.
The competition was split into three Seed Funding Competition winners, two from a closed Strabane BID section and four special category awards.
Hospitality recruitment specialist Paul Leonard from Swift Shift claimed the first prize of £1,500 in the open category while Caithiln Hughes from The Movement and Neuro Skill Shop owner Pamela Capriglione were awarded runners up prizes of £1,000 and £500 respectively.
Strabane artisan ice cream vendors Scoop and Cup won the £1,500 first prize in the BID section where Sharon McMorran’s pottery studio The Painted Pig received the £1,000 runners up award.
In the Special Category section Deborah Boyle’s ReJenerate were the Social Impact winners while Scoop and Cup and Fairley’s Flavours owner Fairley Ramraj won the Youth and Student Entrepreneur categories.
Sean Gough from Amethyst Tattoos and Offing Coffee owner Stephanie Bradley were joint winners of the Welcome Home category for entrepreneurs who have returned home to operate from the Council area in the last two years.
The all-day event was part of a comprehensive programme for Enterprise Week that features panel discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities.
Head of Business at Council, Kevin O’Connor, congratulated all the winners.
“The Start-Up Launch Pad event was an ideal opportunity for our entrepreneurs to showcase their business and get valuable feedback from a panel of industry experts,” he said.
“The judging panel had a challenging job to select the winners from the high calibre of all 16 entrepreneurs who were shortlisted.
“Congratulations to all the winners who can use the funds to help them navigate the crucial start-up phase of their enterprise.”
The North West Pitch Competition was hosted by Council in association with Strabane BID, Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, Inner City Trust, Ulster University and Hyperfast NI, who are supported the Student and Youth categories within the competition.
The judges were Anna Doherty Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, Jennifer McKeever Airporter, Paul Nelis and Chris Bean Challenge Curve, Andy Sheen Wurkhouse, Michael Kelly Strabane BID.
The event was part of the wider Enterprise Week theme of 'Seeds of Change', highlighting the Micro-Businesses and SMEs in the North West who have grown with purpose, driven by expert management as well as focusing on sustainability, digital technology, growth, and innovation.
For full details of this year’s Enterprise Week programme visit derrystrabane.com/enterpriseweek.
For updates and information follow @Business Support Derry Strabane on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.