The Gatwick Diamond ‘Young Start-up Talent’ (YST) winner was revealed at Lingfield Park Marriott Hotel. The highlight was the YST ‘Dragons Den’-style film depicting the journeys the five finalists had gone through and their pitches to a panel of leading business professionals. The prize fund, worth £50,000 of business products and services, was donated by local and national businesses. Zoe Wright of B&CE said, in her capacity as judge, “The highlight has been seeing the amount of passion and energy the contestants have for their ideas and concepts.”

The initiative, for 16 to 25-year-olds with a fl air for business, has been searching for this year’s most promising young entrepreneurs. After a series of workshops, 1-2-1-style speed networking events and pitches, the winner was announced as JubyLee Bakes.

A group of six young entrepreneurs, who all met at Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School a number of years ago, make up JubyLee Bakes, with some now attending Collyers College in Horsham. All of the six have special needs and autism. The group has created a bakery with the tag line, “Special bakes made by special people.”

JubyLee Bakes, comprised of Simon Tomlinson, Aaron Dawson, Alice King, James Connell, Kate Bentley and Siobhain Lee, plan to create their own independence through their bakes. They would like to inspire other young people like themselves while providing a whole host of tasty treats that they plan to sell through a number of outlets.

Simon commented, “The judges, sponsors and YST team have all been extremely helpful and it’s been such an exciting process.”

Matthew Tyson of Richard Place Dobson said, “The highlights for me are how diverse the group of individuals is, and the level of energy and commitment that they put in.”

Rebecca Glazebrook of PDT Solicitors added, “Regardless of who has won, all the finalists should take a lot of pride in what they have achieved and should continue to pursue their dreams.” The finalists included: Peteris Sobolevs, a student at Sackville School, with his unique confectionary business - Sweetmans Sweets, Thomas Hussey, who studies at Central Sussex College, with Zaoby, his business online hosting company, and Akan Ekanem a recent graduate, who presented his UK-based transportation network company, SquareMile.

Collyers College Student, Robbie Walder, who tackled the den with a unique, intelligent doorbell business, SyncedIn, said, “Young Startup Talent has turned my idea into something which is almost a reality. I’m working towards something now. The process been very enjoyable and educational throughout. “

With the help of sponsors, Fastsigns, each of the finalists exhibited their businesses at a trade stand, where they demonstrated work that had been put in over the previous months.

Click here to read the complete article in the Sussex magazine