Organisations choose to give back to the community in a number of different ways: some donate to charity, some might sponsor local sports teams, and others might offer opportunities for work experience. At Wildings we believe that the most effective way we can give back to our community is by supporting local start-ups. Ingenuity, creativity and ambition are qualities that can be found in almost all of us, but unfortunately not all of us have the chance to use these traits productively. Kickfactor allows the ingenious, the creative and the ambitious to showcase their business ideas. It nurtures their entrepreneurial talents and gives them the chance to compete for funding that could be instrumental in kick-starting their enterprise.
Friday the 22nd of April saw entrepreneurs with a range of different backgrounds, talents and ideas come together in Media City at the University of Salford to pitch their prospective businesses to a panel of expert judges. A £1000 prize from Wildings Solicitors was the award for the most promising idea.
As the afternoon progressed, and the contestants pitched their ideas to the panel, it was clear to see that above all else these ideas were true passion projects for everyone involved. Whilst no two ideas were the same, innovation and forward progress were themes that bound every business idea that was presented together. From a specially designed writing aid for amputees, to a language translating earpiece, Kickfactor 2016 was a real celebration of ingenuity.
Putting the entrepreneurs through their paces was the panel of judges. Each contestant was given 5 minutes to pitch their idea to to the University of Salford’s Malcolm Purdi and Richard Dron as well as local business man Chris White and Director of Incubox and Wildings Solicitors, Kid Harwood. Tough questions were asked, and valuable advice was given to everyone who pitched an idea. But ultimately, Kickfactor is a competition that seeks to find and support only the most enterprising of business ideas, so a winner had to be chosen.
After completing the unenviable task of deliberating who should win the first, second and third prize, the judges returned to the room to announce their verdict. Because of the high quality of the ideas pitched and to the surprise of the contestants and the audience, the panel opted to award a joint runner-up prize as opposed to a second and third place. Receiving an investment of £500 each were A40EC and The Golden Triangle.
A40EC is custom footwear, clothing and accessory business, conceived and developed in Manchester. Using artistry and an adept sense of style, the guys at A40EC produce hand-painted, bespoke and totally original items of clothing for people hoping to stand out from the crowd.
Like A40EC, The Golden Triangle is a fashion based business venture. Targeting the Wilmslow, Alderley Edge and Prestbury area, The Golden Triangle is an events-based fashion company that aims to provide specially designed high-end items of clothing for people in in affluent Cheshire.
With the runners-up announced, the contestants and audience alike waited with baited breath to find out who would be the winner of the £1000 prize fund from Wildings. In the end, the grand prize was awarded to FlexyDine, a last-minute restaurant table booking service. The site aims to make dining an easier experience for diners, as well as allowing restaurants to gain greater exposure and advertise empty tables. The judges were extremely impressed with the mutually beneficial premise of FlexyDine, and with over 5000 restaurants in Greater Manchester alone, the potential for the venture is extremely promising.
FlexyDine comes as a result of the hard work of seven third year students at the University of Salford, the progressiveness of their vision and the passion with which they pitched to the judges displayed exactly the enterprising qualities that Wildings looks for in an investment. Speaking to the guys at FlexyDine after the event, they spoke of how the project was a year in the making, and how it evolved over time into the promising business venture that was presented at Kickfactor. Be sure to check out their demo wbsite at flexydine.co.uk and head to their Facebook and Twitter pages to find out more about their services and keep up to date with their progress.
Overall, we at Wildings believe that Kickfactor 2016 was a huge success, and the grit and innovation that went into every single idea that was presented was confirmation that with the right guidance, investment and encouragement, enterprising start-ups can take their ideas from the drawing board and watch them flourish.
With hopes of making next year bigger and better, we are already looking forward to Kickfactor 2017.