Success Stories

Greenlight Games

Dean Day entered the initiative with his Independent Games Studio – Greenlight Games. With a well-developed business plan and proof of his abilities demonstrated in previous game success, Dean sailed to the finals where he was chosen as West Kent’s 2015 winner.

The kudos and publicity that the studio has gained from winning the initiative has meant that Dean has received a host of interest from various companies looking to work alongside the exciting venture.
One of its backers has come from Greenwich University who have agreed to partner with and support Greenlight Games for the foreseeable future. This partnership has landed the company a number of benefits including office space within the campus for a year. In addition, the University has offered the company funding to recruit a team of interns for three months.
One of the company’s most recent creations is, ‘Deul’ – a fast paced shooting game, set to test player’s precision and reaction time, becoming increasingly addictive as its difficulty rises. DEUL is now available to download for Android (Google Play) and iOS (App Store) as well as the studio’s latest release – Minecart Dash.

Currently in the pipeline is the studio’s biggest project to date – Stranger Fiction, a story based episodic game coming to PC and Xbox in the summer of 2016. With a private investor taking a keen interest in the company, Dean is set be gaining a large investment in aid of this latest venture.
Dean has since met with various sponsors who will be supporting and mentoring him in his next year of business and has already seen the advantages. The young entrepreneur is also building ties with games platform – Unity, who are looking to work closely with GLG in the future.

To find out more about Deul or other independent games from GLG, please visit:

Studio 14

Stephanie entered the initiative with the concept of a gallery with a twist for emerging artists – incorporating three elements, Studio 14 will contain an artist studio space, a gallery and a bar area for events in Croydon. In a bid to create a more relaxed and approachable environment for the public to appreciate art.
Stephanie’s passion to develop a creatively led environment in the up and coming, cultural setting of Croydon drove her to success in the YST process where she became Croydon’s 2015 winner.
Over the past few months Stephanie has been scouting out and building a rapport with local evolving artists across Croydon – introducing them to Studio 14 and encouraging their involvement. Using the services available to her from the YST prize fund, she has perfected her brand and established a professional website on which artists can get in touch.



One of her greatest achievements to date includes Stephanie being invited by Tate Britain with her art collective PUSHCRAYONS to create live digital works and exhibit works created specifically for  their monthly evening event ’Late at Tate’. This had over 3000+ people attend, the first time the Tate had seen panoramic views of people queuing around the ground floor. Stephanie has been asked back in December of this year and also by Apple for further exhibition in the New Year.
Stephanie has been attending and speaking at various networking events, a benefit which she has seen as one of the greatest advantages of being involved with YST.
Meeting a lot of new people has exposed Stephanie to a host of opportunities to take her to the next level. Stephanie, who is an artist herself, explained that the process structured her business plan and overall strategy. The mentoring Stephanie has gained across various fields has helped shape her studio with Simon Maddox of Owadally and King providing her with a course on how to achieve her business goals.
The bright artist is planning to arrange pop-up galleries around Croydon and London until she has set a foundation for the Studio 14 base.

To keep updated with the growth of this creative venture visit


Illumiame Ltd

Sabrina Pearson was crowned East Kent’s Young Start-up Talent winner in September of 2015 with her business Illuminame.
This young entrepreneur came to YST with a concept surrounding a personalised desk light under her company Illuminame Ltd.  She proposed to the panel that her light could take the shape of any word depending on the customers choosing, and would sit on a thin rectangular base housing LED bulbs. In the time between entering YST and pitching to the judges, with the help of sponsor – Fastsigns, Sabrina was able to have a fully working prototype produced to legitimise the potential in her product. Sabrina quickly convinced judges that Illuminame is an innovative business with a unique product for the growing personalised product market.
Now at the stage where she is looking to find the right manufacturer for her product, Sabrina is trying to utilise every aspect of the broad prize fund in time for the finished product, including a brand new website which is on its way to completion.
Regular networking has meant that Sabrina has gained a hefty amount of contacts, many of whom have already made orders for purchase. With an ever growing order-list before the product has officially launched, Sabrina is set to be getting off to a fantastic start and has seen keen interest from various customers without any marketing. While many have asked for children’s names in lights Sabrina has also had a range of cooperate customers, with one business owner asking for their company name in lights to be placed in their shop window.

Looking back on her time with the initiative Sabrina maintains that she “wouldn’t have a business without it.”  She went on to say “Before it was just an idea and I didn’t know who to contact. During the process my prototype was created and I got to understand so much more about my product. Now moving forward, I know what I’m asking for in terms of materials and I can steer it in the right direction with this knowledge.”
While Sabrina’s main selling point lies in her personalised products, she is also working on delivering a standard range for homes, where she will sell set words at set prices.

To find out more follow @IlluminameUK or visit



When Hayley entered into the initiative for 16-25 year olds she insisted “you don’t need to be a flower expert to arrange flowers anymore.”
Hayley was planning on setting up her own Floristry shop where people could walk in and take part in flower arranging workshops, however her time in the process with advice from local professionals led her to adjust her business plan and make her workshops a portable service by renting out spaces and visiting homes and venues. Hayley also offers a classic floristry service, creating beautifully designed bouquets for events and occasions.
The young entrepreneur has said that constructing flowers is an extremely relaxing and therapeutic exercise, it has been known to help with anxiety and lowers stress levels, which is part of the reason Hayley herself became involved in the craft.

Hayley is currently busy developing the Pixie-pot website which will soon be ready to launch. She has already provided for a number of Weddings and Sympathies and has future orders booked. However Hayley is most enthusiastic about sharing her passion by booking workshops which are suitable for any event from children’s parties to hen-do’s or even team building seminars.
Hayley has collaborated with Lady Lavender Tea, who hosts crockery tea parties and is in talks with wedding venues at the moment. Her main goal at this stage is getting the name out there and becoming a part of the community. With her business flourishing at such speed, we are expecting to see a lot more from Pixie-Pots and this young entrepreneur.

To find out more about workshops or to contact Hayley regarding some bouquets visit the twitter page @Pixie_Pots or contact via Facebook at Pixie-Pots Workshops.

In 2014 an aspiring group of entrepreneurs made it through to the final of the Gatwick Diamond Young Start-up Talent programme. One of the finalists was an enterprise offering automatic referencing software, designed by university students Nathaniel Hill, Peter Ross and Nick Jackson.
Although the team didn’t win the overall Young Start-up Talent initiative, their knowledge, skill and determination to make their business a success attracted the attention of Horsham based company, Red River Software. MD, Simon Pringle, with a personal and professional history of founding successful entrepreneurial projects, recognised the potential of the team as having the ideal credentials for a young and enthusiastic start up.
“Our whole ethos at Red River is based on a holistic approach towards using our expertise to support companies to operate more effectively, while ensuring people remain at the heart of any solution we provide. So supporting young start-ups and “entrepreneurs” is very much aligned with our core values.”
Since meeting, have become part of the Red River team, utilising their skills by working on a vast range of projects from technical design and development to software migration and business process modelling. Peter and Nick are currently situated within their Horsham office, where they are surrounded and supported by the knowledgeable onsite team.
Simon has since become a non-executive director of and is on hand to act as mentor to the team.
Having carved their path through the Young Start-up Talent process and continuing to build on their experience within the Red River environment,


The future is looking bright for the team.
For more information please visit: and

Anya Krasnikova
In 2013 entrepreneur and filmmaker Anya Krasnikova entered the Young Start-up Talent process, determined to impress the judges and develop her business. Anya made it through to the final and although she didn’t walk away with the prize fund she had the passion and determination to carry on following her dream.
Since then Anya has moved onto bigger and better things, expanding her wedding production company ‘AK Weddings’ and has even evolved into the world of feature films. ‘Little Fury Films’ was born with business partner Veronica Trickett who has been working with Anya for the past 3 years and shares a passion of creating both fiction and corporate films.
Anya found that her time through Young Start-up Talent gave her “a much better understanding of the process of starting a business. I realised that my original business idea ‘Life-View’ needed a lot more support and development. I put it on hold and used everything I learnt from the Young Start-up Talent process to set up AK Weddings, a video production business to document special occasions – with a focus on wedding’s.”
Since then Anya has worked on a number of corporate and feature films which have grown in budget and size. As ‘Little Fury Films’ develops and grows so do the projects, the team have already been working with overseas corporates, collaborating on local productions and are currently heading up pre-production of their own film which has been in the pipeline after years of planning.
Anya commented: “This can only mean great things for us – we are already being approached to produce other productions and can’t wait to look at them! It may be a while though as our slate is pretty full…”
We are going to keep a close eye on the exciting future for ‘Little Fury Films’ to see what the future holds,  you can follow their progress by visiting
Natalie Evans
Natalie came to Young Start-up Talent with a selection of organic, 100% raw, cold press juices and juice cleanses. Fascinated by the effects that nutrition played in healing the body, Natalie used her knowledge to produce a product made up of cold pressed fresh fruit and vegetables, 42 Juice. Her idea and brand was so impressive to the panel that she sailed through to the Brighton and Hove finals. After winning Young start-up talent in 2014, Natalie took what was already a fantastic product and brand to the next level.
Natalie explained that following the YST process the “success of the business took off very rapidly” and she explained that the services that came with her prize fund have been invaluable, in particular the financial team involved.
42Juice offers cleanse and detox packages designed to bring a lot of benefits and provide a full on cleanse for the body. This concept has appealed to various well-known celebrities, one of which  has invested into the business, allowing it to further expand. In September 2014, 42Juice were able to open a juice shop in the popular Lanes of Brighton, broadening the range of customers and proving to be a great success.

Looking into the future, 42Juice plans to begin focusing more on well-being and start offering other types of products and services to promote natural healing of the body. The brand has recently started stocking juices across London, the business is still very much flourishing and Natalie is currently looking at expanding her existing shop to make more space for more stock and in-store customers.  We can’t wait see what comes next for 42Juice and Natalie!


To find out more visit
Twitter: @42juice_cleanse

Henry Rogers
In 2014, 16 year old Henry Rogers, became Gatwick’s fourth Young Start-up Talent winner with his unique  business, ‘Hot Iron’. The talented young Blacksmith is able to produce a variety of bespoke items from metal using his extraordinary skills, including jewellery, candlesticks, wall hangings, heart hooks, gates, fireplaces and log ends among many other bespoke creations.
At 13, Henry completed an evening welding course which lead him to contacting a family friend who was a blacksmith in a bid to gain some work experience in the field. After two Blacksmithing taster days at Plumpton College, Henry was sure he wanted to make a career out of his skill. Working in his parents garden and selling his creations in order to fund new equipment and tools, Henry began to make money from his hobby.  He entered YST with entrepreneurial flair, hoping to establish the brand and reputation of his company ‘Hot Iron’.


Henry commented that he’d had “a lot of support from everyone to utilise everything from winning the competition and to network as much as possible.” Since winning YST, Henry has attended a four day International Symposium of the Forge held in Normandy, France, where he was one of only 4 UK blacksmiths invited to attend to display their professional skills. Following this, Henry showcased at an exhibition in Horsham ‘Microbiz’ with sponsors Horsham District Council and also in Hastings with sponsors ‘Let’s Do Business’. Whilst at both exhibitions Henry received many orders for his metal  work – in particular, his metal jewellery made from recycled cutlery. Over the past year Henry has attended many events as a speaker, often divulging his experience as a young entrepreneur and explaining the in’s and out’s of his business which tends to attract plenty of interest and new customers.
Currently Henry is running his business from home whilst attending school but after completing his ‘A’ levels this year he plans to become a blacksmith apprentice, in order to expand his skills whilst working.  We’re excited to see Henry working on his passion and can’t wait to watch his talent grow as well as his flourishing business.
To find out more or order your own bespoke product visit:
Twitter: @TroyTownForge

Sam French
Sam French was Gatwick’s 2013 winner, who came to Young Start-up Talent with buckets of enthusiasm and looking to expand his business in the best way possible.  ‘Sam’s Kitchen’ designs and makes fashionable gingerbread men, keeping on trend with the latest fashion by ‘dressing’ them in style by season.

When Sam came to YST he had already been featured in Vogue magazine and had experience supplying Tulley’s Farm, giving him opportunities to be involved in Shocktober Fest and organise interactive gingerbread workshops for children. Sam expressed that his businesses biggest challenge was production as he had been producing all his ginger bread men from home as well as running every other aspect of his business. Aware of the influence expert advice could have on his business, Sam was eager to take advantage of the YST process and his passion instantly impressed the judges.
After winning Young Start-up Talent Sam went from baking in his mums kitchen to owning and running his very own bakery in Worthing where he can produce up to 10’000 ginger bread men a day, solving Sam’s production issues. From his new bakery, Sam has supplied leading corporates such as – British Airways as well as Hilton Hotels, Town & Country Housing Group and Cripps Law firm among many other company customers.

Reflecting on the experience, Sam expressed that his help with PR in particular has been extremely valuable. He told us that “anyone can make a gingerbread man but being the face of the company is the main thing really. Essentially I’m the advertising, I am Sam the gingerbread man.” Sam described the YST process as something that “launches you into the business society.”  He said “I just had loads of fun and learned lots, that’s what it’s all about for me.”
Looking to the future, Sam is hoping to eventually become famous for gingerbread men in the same way Cadbury’s are famous for chocolate. He’s hoping that he can get as many catering company’s and wholesalers to jump on board and seeing as Sam’s gingerbread men are the fashionista of the biscuit world, he is particularly interested in getting them sold in fashionable places. We’re excited to see what’s next for Sam and his ginger bread men!
If you’ve got a sweet tooth visit:
Twitter: @SamsKitchenUK

Mohammad Abusayed
Abu is one of West Kent’s Young Start-up Talent winners, he started up his company SMT Trading UK Limited in January 2013. He offers a service that hires out linen based products and sells hot towels whilst providing a laundry service to various businesses such as restaurants, hotels, and banqueting halls. This is offered with weekly address pick-up and delivery services. SMT hires out linens such as table slips, napkins, chef jacket, aprons etc. After pitching his company to the YST panel, Abu’s well developed business plan and determination in the market took the judges by surprise and lead him to success.
Back in June 2013 Abu was “looking forward to taking SMT Trading UK to the next level with the help of the Young Start-up Talent prize fund”, since winning, Abu has done just that. He has been extremely busy building his business up and handling his frequently growing number of clients. Abu’s high quality, reliable service has meant his turnover has grown substantially and he’s now engaging with many more customers and branching out into various new areas. With transport becoming an obstacle, Abu used some of his winnings from YST to fund a new company van, enabling him to continue expanding. He has since employed other staff to maintain the quality of SMT Trading UK Limited. With more staff and clientele, the demand for more stock became apparent and YST aided Abu in getting a grant with ‘Start-up Loans’ to meet this needs.
This year, Abu’s target is to have a warehouse by the summertime and to begin investing in machinery to start the build-up of his own factory. At the moment Abu is trying to keep his budget tight but in the future he is interested in providing different types of services and venturing into different sectors within the linen.
To get in touch with Abu, contact:
Twitter @UKSMT