Eight businesses selected for Henley Greenshoots Seed Finance Award Scheme 2021
The aim of Greenshoots is to help to nurture and support start-ups founded by current or recently graduated students of the University of Reading or Henley Business School.
Applicants that can demonstrate their start-ups have the potential to grow and become sustainable businesses are reviewed by a panel of judges, with the following winners chosen to be awarded the funding:
- Benji Norval, founder of Cyrus Clothing, a high-quality clothing brand without the pricing that usually accompanies luxury brands
- Claudia Day, founder of Ehuddle, an online platform built by coaches for coaches to help personal growth
- Dylan Lief, founder of Revive Foods, a brand offering a range of premium plant-based bars with an organic and healthy mission
- Hannah Hayes, founder of High5VR Productions Limited, a business creating high quality VR production to teach English language to foreign students
- Harry Newton, founder of PharmaCY, an online prescription-based delivery service in Cyprus with a focus on improving the public health system
- Huan He and Meiling Wang, co-founders of Three Manakins, an all-in-one charging and journey planner app for electric vehicles
- Kevin Hayes, founder of ProppedUp, a company that allows people to invest in buy-to-let student properties without becoming landlords
- Mark Dodd, founder of Digital Story Universe, a business that has created a digital portal where consumers of crime fiction can experience immersive online stories.
The award ceremony on 16 June opened with a summary from each of the winners, outlining their business and their plans for the future. All of them had big ambitions to grow their business, with many mentioning that the Greenshoots Awards funding would be pivotal to hiring new interns or launching new projects.
This was followed by a talk from Simon Poulter, Relationship Manager for Santander Universities. Simon spoke positively on the breadth of business ideas that were selected for the Greenshoots Awards, covering multiple sectors, and added how pleased he was to offer the funds to help each company go on and continue to grow their start-up business sustainably.
Jurek Sikorski, the Executive Director of Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship, wrapped up the event. Reflecting on the success of the Greenshoots Awards since their launch back in 2019, he said:
"One thing that shone through hearing everyone speak was the enthusiasm and energy that went into the creation of each start-up company. The key message behind Greenshoots is to persist with doing what you love - optimism leads to taking action and innovation and Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship will continue helping the winning companies make progress. Our thanks go out to Santander Universities for making this possible."
In addition to the £1,250 cash prize, the wining companies will also have opportunities such as mentoring from business experts, one-to-one feedback on their application and networking opportunities with other start-ups.
The Henley Greenshoots Seed Finance Award Scheme is sponsored and supported by Santander Universities.