21 June 12
Ten of UK's most exciting business ideas battle it out for Â£200,000 prize
From isolating cancer cells to making liquid nitrogen ice cream, the Orange Different Business competition has uncovered ten of the UK’s most exciting small business ideas. After being whittled down by an expert judging panel including John Bird, the founder and editor-in-chief of the Big Issue; and Trevor Baylis OBE, inventor of the wind-up radio; it’s now up to the public to vote for its favourite different business idea to go forward into the final round of the contest.
Chosen for their innovation, passion and commitment, the finalists have the opportunity to win a full, ongoing package of business support worth up to £200,000. The prize includes business advice and mentoring from Kingston Smith, one of the UK's top 20 accountancy firms; communications support from Orange; expert marketing consultancy from Publicis Chemistry, and legal advice from Lewis Silkin, a firm of solicitors specialising in corporate and commercial law.
The ten finalists were selected from nearly 150 entrants who submitted detailed business plans for the competition, which aims to showcase some of the most exciting business ideas in the UK. Hunting out the inspirational people and companies with a new idea or a fresh business approach, the panel short listed the following entrants:
- ABeterno Ltd is a biotech company that has developed a revolutionary way to isolate cancer cells
- Guess2Give is a world first that makes raising money for UK charities more fun by introducing a sweepstake element for everyone who takes part
- Lick me I'm delicious is an events company specialising in liquid nitrogen ice creams and frozen creations
- LornaLou Ltd has invented a Pillpod that helps seriously ill patients to take the medication correctly, safely and on time
- Mocean Europe Ltd creates organic surf apparel and board wax, as well as high-performance surf boards from recyclable foam with innovative impact resistant and eco friendly materials
- Montague Healthcare is a medical company that is pioneering Virtual Scanning, a diagnostic and therapeutic technology based on the light emitting properties of proteins
- Pit Stop Tyre Check have come up with unique portable equipment to offer motorists tyre inflation and safety services at supermarkets
- Profinda helps companies to make better use of their workforce's skills by digitising staff expertise and creating an internal matching system
- SeNd Technology Ltd has invented a monitoring device that lets people keep a discreet eye on the wellbeing of their elderly or vulnerable friends or family members
- Standby Solutions has come up with a novel way of reducing electrical consumption caused by household devices usually left on standby
Each of the shortlisted businesses has created a two minute video, available to view at www.orange.co.uk/differentbusiness. Orange is inviting the public to help whittle the shortlist down to the final three, by voting for their favourite via a LinkedIn voting platform which is being used for the very first time in the UK. The three business ideas that the public choose will go on to face the panel of judges in a live pitch at Altitude 360 on the 29th floor of Milbank Tower on Friday, 6th July, 2012.
John Bird MBE, social entrepreneur and founder of the Big Issue, said: “Every person who has entered this competition has taken a brave step in following their passion. As someone who’s started their own business, I know how daunting that can be. We need these pioneers and entrepreneurs to kick start the UK economy, and it’s great to see this competition supporting that.”
Josh Graff, Director, Marketing Solutions, LinkedIn EMEA, said: “We’re proud to be hosting the voting mechanic of this competition on our platform. LinkedIn is a hotbed of innovation and business success, and we’re hopeful that LinkedIn’s professional-minded, and business-oriented member base will help to deliver a deserving winner to this exciting competition.”
Martin Stiven, Vice President, Business, Everything Everywhere, the company which runs Orange, said: “The high calibre of every single entrant in this competition has made choosing the shortlist very difficult, and we’re thrilled to have a selection with such varied business ideas, from organic surfing kit to medical equipment. The aim of this competition was to find and nurture someone that isn’t afraid to think differently when it comes to business. After all, a different business needs a different kind of backing, and that’s why we’re offering more than just a cheque – we'll make sure the winner gets the advice and investment to get them on the road to success.”
The judging panel also included Nigel Jones, Chairman & CEO Publicis Group UK; Maureen Penfold, Partner of Kingston Smith LLP; and Spencer McHugh, Brand Director and Martin Stiven, Vice President Business from Everything Everywhere.
About Orange UK
Orange is the key brand of the France Telecom Group, one of the world's leading telecommunications operators. With almost 131 million customers, the Orange brand now covers Internet, television and mobile services in the majority of countries where the Group operates.
In the UK, Orange provides high quality GSM coverage to 99% of the UK population, and 3G coverage to more than 93%. Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trade marks of Orange Brand Services Limited.
On July 1 2010, the company became part of Everything Everywhere, one company that runs two of Britain's most famous brands - Orange UK and T-Mobile UK - with plans to transform the industry by giving customers instant access to everything, everywhere, offering them the best value, best choice and best network coverage in the country. Everything Everywhere Limited is the UK’s biggest communications company, with a combined customer base of almost 28 million people and more than 720 retail stores across the country. Everything Everywhere Limited is registered at Hatfield Business Park, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9BW under the registered company number 02382161.
For more information please call the Orange Press Office 0870 3731500, or visit www.orange.co.uk/newsroom
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Press release: Business
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