2:24 PM 12th February 2020
Budding Sheffield Entrepreneur Secures £1,000 Prize From UKSE
From left: Amanda Lennon (Innov8tive Minds), Gordon Macrae (Y Accelerator/Gripple), David Grimes (SCR Growth Hub), Richard Keates (Y Accelerator/RiDO), Alastair Johnson (Freebird Interiors), Helen Gray (MQI Consulting), Tooba Mazhar (WorQR), Keith Williams (UKSE), Amanda Parris (Y Accelerator/RiDO), Jonathan Ross (Meditret), Paul Hercock (Mantra Medical), Richard Jones (Mantra Medical), Simon Wasdon (Meditret), Torrell Ewan (Woosh), Valdis Krumins (People Aided Design), Robin Hartley (Boost Manufacturing Technologies), Chris Iveson (Boost Manufacturing Technologies).
Torrell Ewan, founder of his business ‘Woosh’, claimed the best pitch award at an event celebrating the end of another successful Y Accelerator programme.
The sixth time the programme has been delivered in the Sheffield City Region, it provides opportunities to the next generation of innovative start-ups via a three-month intensive development programme.
The event, which took place at Gripple’s Glide House in Attercliffe, saw seven South Yorkshire based budding entrepreneurs pitch their innovative business ideas to an audience including high-profile investors with a chance to win a £1,000 prize from UKSE.
Torrell Ewan, 24, and his product ‘Woosh’ – a unique sport competition management system, currently aimed at the breakdance and bodybuilding communities – came out on top after Torrell impressed the judges with his entrepreneurial spirit.
The finalists also included a company spinning out from the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre ‘Boost Manufacturing’, infection control start-up ‘Mantra Medical’, book publishers ‘And Other Stories’, walking aid entrepreneur ‘People Aided Design’, clinical waste streaming ‘Meditret’ and furniture manufacturers ‘Freebird Interiors’.
Among the speakers were representatives from supporting organisations Gripple and Rotherham Investment and Development Office (RiDO). The programme is also supported by Sheffield City Region Growth Hub.
Amanda Parris, Business Growth Manager for RiDO, said: “We are extremely proud of each participant for their hard work, resilience and passion demonstrated throughout the programme – all skills that will put them in good stead for running a successful business.
“It’s been fantastic to see some really innovative ideas turn into forward-thinking and creative business opportunities.”
Torrell Ewan said: “Taking part in the Y-Accelerator has completely changed my mindset in terms of how I think about business, from a programmer to an entrepreneur. The support and expertise that I have gained has been invaluable and to be awarded the prize for best pitch is just incredible.
“Now I’ve got to this point, I have real drive and passion to make my business a real success.
“I have combined my passion of breakdancing and sport with my knowledge and skill of coding, computer design and gaming to create my business. There is a real niche in the market for Woosh – and I am so grateful to the whole Y-Accelerator team for guiding me through the process.
“The cash prize from UKSE will be beneficial as I move forward with my business and developing my ideas further to break into the market.
“I am so grateful to all of the fantastic mentors who are involved in the process. The programme is thoroughly rewarding and now I am looking forward to further developing Woosh and moving forward with it.”
Keith Williams, Regional Manager at UKSE, said: “The Y-Accelerator is a unique initiative locally that provides really intensive support to start-up and early stage businesses, bringing in a range of expertise as required.
“Torrell’s innovation, his sheer passion and determination stood out to us during his pitch. He demonstrated both enthusiasm and business acumen during his presentation and has really worked hard at getting to a strong point to launch his business.”
Gordon Macrae, entrepreneur in residence from Gripple said: “We were so impressed with all of this year’s cohort. The programme is in place to both challenge and strengthen business models and provide entrepreneurs with a strong skillset to launch and grow successful business.”
For more information on the Y-Accelerator scheme, visit https://www.scrgrowthhub.co.uk/y-accelerator/