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Mayor congratulates winner of £10k Business Start-up Challenge

09 March 2018

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Maolíosa McHugh has congratulated SO 27 Skincare’s Deborah Lamberton on winning this year’s £10k Business Start-up Challenge.

Seven budding entrepreneurs from the Derry & Strabane District Council area pitched their business ideas yesterday (Thursday 8th March) in the Foyle Theatre of North West Regional College’s Strand Road Campus in front of an audience and panel of judges made up of Airporter CEO & Chamber of Commerce President Jennifer McKeever, Martin Gallen from Banba Designs & Strabane Chamber of Commerce, Liam Nelis from Gradon Architecture, Fionnuala Deane from Dog Ears, and Kevin O’ Connor – Head of Business at Derry City & Strabane District Council.

This year’s ‘pitchathon’ was part of Enterprise Week 2018 – and the seven budding entrepreneurs who made it through to the ‘Dragon’s Den-style’ finale all took home a prize ranging from £1,000 to £2,500.

The breakdown of the winners of the £10k Business Start-up Challenge were:

SO 27 Skincare – 1st place – £2.5K

Café Scoop – 2nd place – £2K

Pedraza – 3rd place – £1.5K

Runners up (x4) – 2 North, Hempful, The Suit Lounge & Wedding Creshers – £1K

Mayor McHugh, who introduced and attended the ‘Pitchathon’ finale at the North West Regional College, said:


“I would like to warmly congratulate SO 27 Skincare’s Deborah Lamberton for making it through some very tough questioning from our local ‘dragons’ and coming out on top as the winner of this year’s £10k Business Start-up Challenge!

“I would also like to pay tribute to all seven finalists for their creative and innovative business ideas – and for clearly demonstrating the ability to create jobs and export their products into new markets to the benefit of our local economy.

“Now in its second year, the £10k Business Start-up Challenge really is a fantastic competition – which is continuing to inspire, encourage and develop a spirit of entrepreneurship and enterprise throughout the council area.”