Henley Greenshoots Seed Finance Award Scheme

Henley Greenshoots Seed Finance Award Scheme

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The Henley Greenshoots Seed Finance Award Scheme is an initiative led by HCfE with the aim to nurture and feed the green shoots of start-ups founded by students and recent graduates of the University of Reading or Henley Business School, offering £1,000 cash prizes for start-ups that show the potential to grow and become sustainable businesses.

Greenshoots is targeted at businesses recently launched by students and graduates of the University of Reading including the Henley Business School and in particular those businesses that have occupied either the Henley Start-Up Business Incubator or the Entrepreneurship Hub and those who will have participated in the IDEAFEST Student Business Idea Competition and the Henley Summer Start-Up Boot Camp that have gone on to start a business.

To be eligible for Greenshoots funding, businesses will have been incorporated at/after 1 August 2016 and meet the eligibility criteria as more specifically described below:

- Entrants must be students or graduates of the University of Reading or Henley Business School

- Entrants can be individuals or teams

- Entrants must be permanent UK residents or in the case of non-EEA students or graduates hold an appropriate visa and have been living in the UK for the duration of their University studies

- Start-up must be registered as a trading company in the UK

- All entrants must be at least 18 years old

- Entrants must own a majority share (>50%) in the start-up

- Students who set up businesses as a result of their course (e.g. BA Entrepreneurship) are eligible

- HCfE reserves the right to check the personal details provided by the entrants on entry to make sure that you meet the awards eligibility criteria

Entries that meet the above criteria will be invited for interview at which each founder will have 10 minutes to present their business to the panel. The interviews will be carried out by a panel from Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship, chaired by Jurek Sikorski.

The timetable for Greenshoots 2020 is outlined below:

1 May 2020 - Greenshoots opens for entries

3 July 2020 - Greenshoots entry deadline

10 July 2020 - Greenshoots interviews to select the winners

22 July 2020 - Greenshoots presentations to winners of funding (held at 11:00am in room 273 of the Edith Morley building, Whiteknights campus)


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The 2019 Greenshoots funding was granted to five businesses formed by current or recently graduated University of Reading students. The winners are as follows:

  • Omar Hamoudah, Founder of StrykePay, a mobile money account which enables cashless payments
  • Rhian Burrell, Co-Founder of Osokey, a cloud-based data management solutions provider for the energy industry
  • Sung Kim and Antonia Ajisebutu, CEO and CMO of QOOQn, an online marketplace for home-made meal sharing and catering services
  • Charlie Reeve, Founder of Reeves of Henley, a premium country lifestyle brand supplier bringing signature clothing collections inspired from the British countryside
  • Julia Kala, Founder of Bright Future, a social enterprise that empowers families with children living in poverty by helping the children reach their full potential and perform to the best of their abilities

To read the full story, take a look at our news release on the Greenshoots 2019 award ceremony here.

Greenshoots is sponsored and supported by Santander.

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