About Us

Young Start-up Talent is the brainchild of Matt Turner, the Gatwick Diamond Young Entrepreneur of the Year and MD of Creative Pod, and Lorraine Nugent the MD of Media Word Waves
Ltd, a PR and Marketing Company.

The idea for Young Start-up Talent was launched after Matt won Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Gatwick Diamond. A conversation was then struck up about how to give back to the local community and to encourage other young Entrepreneurs to start up their own business.

Lorraine had previously held a competition for entrepreneurs in 2008 and followed six businesses for their first 12 months. Much was learnt about the difficulties that a business has to overcome during these early stages of growth.

It was decided that a young entrepreneur would need the knowledge and expertise of a panel of
professionals and thus a wish list of respected local business specialists was approached which would later lead to the judges and sponsors of the project.

The initiative works with over 80 local and national businesses who all contribute to a prize fund worth over £50,000 in each of the five areas to enable vital support and guidance for young start-up businesses ensuring a more sustainable future. The workshops are currently delivered to over 40,000 youngsters across the South East, where the project works within schools, colleges, universities and youth groups to inspire and encourage a ‘can-do’ attitude towards business.

What our sponsors and supporter say about us

“Involvement in the Young Start-Up Talent competition was a very positive experience for all concerned – judges as well as contestants. All the finalists coped remarkably well with presenting to the “Dragons Den”, and demonstrated a maturity well beyond their years. The competition provides a tremendous framework for encouraging young people to become the next generation of business leaders and wealth generators.” Jonathan Denny – Managing Partner of Cripps Harries Hall Solicitors.

“As a Housing Association we recognise that we have a role that is much wider than simply building and managing homes. Our support of this project builds on this and gives a focus to develop exciting opportunities for our young residents. At the school workshops we heard great business ideas”. Jackie Sumner – Town & Country Housing Group.


The overall winner is determined following a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style final in each area. All the semi finalists have the opportunity to meet the  sponsors, judges and supporters of the initiative where they can benefit from a collective of experience and expertise.

The prize fund for the winner was worth £50,000 worth of products and services to help launch and support the winner over the next 12 months.

Many of those that have taken part have since received work experience, mentoring sessions and advice about how to progress their businesses or have been offered jobs with some of the sponsors and judges.

“The initiative is a community based project for business, education and young people to work together to creative sustainable futures for all involved”.

This is an opportunity to be proud of and we believe it to be a wonderful journey.

Lorraine Nugent & Matt Turner