Beginning of December, the 10 finalists have been invited to pitch their business face-to-face to our panel of business experts for the chance to win 6 months' serviced office space at either Orega Aberdeen or Orega Liverpool.
We received a lot of great entries for the #StartMeUp Pitch competition in Aberdeen and Liverpool and it was difficult to narrow it down to just 5 per location.
Let us introduce...
THE 5 FINALISTS FOR ABERDEEN:
Barry grew up in the North East of Scotland and loves travelling and pretty much anything to do with the outdoors be it diving, kayaking, hiking etc. Barry has a Finance degree from the University of Aberdeen and spent most of his career in Private Equity and Investment Banking before deciding he wanted to do something enjoyable instead. With a fiancée and a number of close family and friends that have to avoid ingredients due to intolerances and medical conditions, Barry is well aware of the issues involved in shopping or eating out. He is passionate about helping to take the worry and effort out of these every day activities, which led to LiberEat being founded.
Jayne Carmichael Norrie
Jayne's superpower is building communities; both online and offline. She started her first company in 2009 with no money, teaching from her bedroom. Now the Forte Music School has an established reputation as an innovative and trustworthy voice within music education. She's now developing her business concept The Gin Room Scotland. She aims to drive innovation in sectors that are laggards when it comes to new technology and currently manages a gin community of over 11,000.
Arek is a graduate in Mechanical and Offshore Engineering from the Robert Gordon university in Aberdeen. He has a background in sales and business management. His passion for entrepreneurship has led him to become a co-founder of Almascore - an online platform started by 3 international students with the intention of making the process of finding quality accommodation transparent and hassle free. The idea was inspired by the struggle they faced while trying to find accommodation as a student. Almascore helps students, international and local, simplify the process of finding properties and flatmates, without the fear of being scammed in any way.
Kevin is the founder and CEO of The Property Angel. He was a property lawyer for 25 years buying and selling over 3000 properties for his clients before leaving private practice in 2014 to set up a proptech start-up, before founding The Property Angel in 2015. He’s an accomplished, diligent and goal-oriented leader with a comprehensive background encompassing the areas of marketing, business development, sales and channel partner management. He has a strong entrepreneurial ability, which is reflected in a track record of creating successful new businesses from scratch. During his career, he has also demonstrated leadership expertise in managing business operations, supervising staff, developing business plans and overseeing financial planning.
Pamela is the creator and founder of Maisie-Jane.com a Functional Accessories business based in Aberdeen. Having held a varied career starting in Finance, leading to 12 years in the Corporate Events industry to working in Corporate Law - which gave her the push to develop her inspirational ideas and put into practise innovative products. Launching in 2016 Maisie-Jane Functional Accessories is an early start-up with ambitions to change the way we accessorise for business, a growing and ambitious business with teams split between Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Pamela's leadership has seen the start-up build a growing online presence as well as a foothold in several stores throughout Scotland. 2018 is already looking like a prominent year for Maisie-Jane with UK wide retailers due to stock the brands (Maisie-Jane Glam-Yards & the Man-Yard).
THE 5 FINALISTS FOR LIVERPOOL:
Garry Haywood & Stefan Kazassoglou
Garry is CEO and co-founder of Kinicho Limited. Kinicho specialise in delivering solutions for the 3D Audio workflow for immersive applications such as VR/AR/MR. Garry has a long-standing interest in VR since the 1990s and in digital audio since the 1980s, Kinicho has been a great opportunity to bring both passions together. Garry brings a business focus to the innovation process and has created a strong vision for the Kinicho's growth on the back of their Sonic Reality Engine. Prior to Kinicho Garry ran enterprises in Big Data and Saas focusing on the Enterprise Development system, winning awards for new insight into the regional Enterprise Gap in the UK. Earlier, he worked in multi-media information systems development and electronic music DJing and running a record label.
Stefan is Chief of Engineering and co-founder, he is from a musical family with international heritage. He was in the first intake LIPA, which bought the very best in performing arts students from all around the world to the Paul McCartney backed school. After graduating he built Ground Zero studios, a pioneering digital-only recording and production studio. He then went on to be the chief engineer at Binary Cell where he developed a Surround Sound solution for the world's first Immersive Club experience and built a state-of-the-art production studio used for 5.1 Surround material for film and multimedia. After a short period of freelance work, where he supported artists and creative technologies with immersive audio solutions, he founded Kinicho and solved a significant problem existing in 3D Audio.
James worked for over 10 years for large national law firms including Halliwells, Weightmans and Kennedys. Finding little outlet for creativity as a solicitor, James embarked on a change of career that sought to combine his zeal for justice with his interest in social history and genealogy. James subsequently established Kin Probate in August 2017. James has had the privilege to serve in the RAF Reserves and particularly enjoyed his experience at RAF Akotiri in Cyprus. Outside of work, James is a committed husband and father of two young children and has a keen interest in music, travelling and cycling.
Alexander lloyd & Dave Tompkins & Scott Evans
Alexander, founder of Social Burst, setup a YouTube channel at age 15 and grew it to 2000+ subscribers and over 1,000,000 views within 1 year. Has been involved in marketing ever since, developing YouTube channels and Instagram profiles before selling them on for 3 figure sums before then starting a marketing career within digital marketing agencies.
Dave bossed the design & branding of the UK’s best loved international dance brand Gatecrasher for 8 years. Worked at agencies such as Rippleffect, New Mind & WAW, Dave also ran ClubsinLiverpool.com in 2001 - 2004.
Scott is an experienced digital marketer and business strategist who consulted for Next, Allianz, Red Bull over an 8 year period. In the past 3 years, he started We Are Web Ltd a £600k turnover digital agency. His aim was to build a digital agency to bring a team together who could be amazing marketers and start other businesses - Social Burst is the first of these ventures.
David is the MD of Liverpool’s Recruitment Company of the Year collecting his 18th award in a 17 year recruitment industry career. During his career David has risen from consultant through to MD with his ability to deliver great results for clients and develop the skills of his teams to maximise their potential. Whilst working for the largest recruitment company in the world, David has launched new ventures to fix problem areas with great success. David also received the only 100% score from his team for the Great Place to Work Survey across the 14 brands UK wide. One start-up that David launched reached £10m plus turnover within 5 years with a £1.7 million profit line. David set up McIver Scott Recruitment 2 years ago and it has quickly become the go to recruiter in Merseyside with Brabners and AstraZeneca amongst its clients. Psychometric assessment and a unique personable approach is paying great dividends for clients and McIver Scott. David was appointed earlier in 2017 as the Skills Lead in the IoD for the Liverpool City Region.
Orega wishes all the finalists good luck for their #StartMeUp Pitch in Aberdeen and Liverpool!
Which finalist is your favourite? Tweet us at @OregaOffices!
UPDATE 24/11/2017: Due to personal circumstances, one of our Liverpool finalists has had to pull out.