Five Finalists Announced for Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year Award

PR Newswire

LONDON, June 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

*HRH The Duke of York, KG meets and supports new entrepreneurs at event* 

*Finalists decided after new business founders pitch live at St George's Hall, Liverpool*  

*Public voting to decide winner now open -*   

*Vonage Lead Supporter of the award*  

Ten National Business Awards semi finalists pitched their business to a live audience and a panel of judges at Liverpool's St George's Hall this week. The judges decided the five finalists who will now face a public vote to help decide the overall winner of the inaugural Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

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The five Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year finalists are:

- Emma Cerrone, Free:Formers

- Alistair Smit, The Magic Thermodynamic Box

- Ben Weaver, Outlook Publishing Ltd

- Kathryn Birch, Translive Global

- Jay Radia, Yieldify

Each semi finalist presented a three minute pitch on their business model, key achievements and elements underpinning future growth. The judging panel - which included Ed Wray, co-founder of Betfair; Charmaine Eggberry, former Wayra director and CEO of Plan B Consulting; Thea Green, nails inc founder; Guy Rigby, Head of Entrepreneur Services at Smith & Williamson; and Simon Burckhardt, Managing Director of Vonage UK - commented on the exceptional talent and future prospects of the finalists. They focused on the market opportunity identified, the model to capitalise on it and how it has been executed within the first 18 months of trading.

The Duke of York has with the National Business Awards established the Award as part of his support for the UK's promising new entrepreneurs. HRH believes that encouraging more entrepreneurial endeavour will lead to greater opportunities for people to become economically active. Speaking at the event The Duke described how committed he is to supporting initiatives - such as the award - that accelerate, amplify and reward entrepreneurial skills.

HRH The Duke of York said: "If we're going to employ people we're going to have to be more entrepreneurial. We're going to have to find ways of encouraging young people or people who are in businesses, who see a niche in the market, to get out there and start their own business. What's very interesting listening to each of the semi finalists, has been the fact that you've all come from different backgrounds, you've all had different experiences and you're all setting off down a path, not only to be a business in its own right, but you want to grow quickly. If there's one thing that can make a difference to prosperity in the UK it's high growth, fast growth businesses. Listening to these people shows that we're on the right track."

Alex Evans, Programme Director for the National Business Awards said: "The courage and conviction of these new entrepreneurs really came through in their pitches. What they all had in common was a purpose beyond profit - with personal values embedded in their business models."

Vonage, a leading provider of internet telephony for small businesses, and Lead Supporter of the Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year Award, has partnered with the National Business Awards to find and recognise the best first-time business founders. They will now provide each finalist with access to their products and services to help them continue to grow their business.

Simon Burckhardt, Managing Director of Vonage UK said; "Entrepreneurs like the ones we had a chance to hear from are the back-bone of this economy. They are an example of the innovation, creativity and passion that exists in the UK business community. While we may have selected five finalists, the competition was tough, not unlike the current business environment."

The ten semi-finalists benefited from face to face presentation coaching to hone their three minute pitch - provided by Beermat Entrepreneur Mike Southon, who designed the '5 P Elevator Pitch' to focus on Pain, Premise, People, Proof, and Purpose. All registered attendees used a new web-based networking app to connect before, during and after the event, provided by, and the audience was able to pose questions, vote and poll throughout the event using

Recognising enterprise excellence, innovation and ethics, the thirteenth annual National Business Awards will celebrate a range of achievements through 17 award categories - the winners will be revealed on 11 November 2014.

To vote for your favourite Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year finalist and to attend the National Business Awards visit

The National Business Awards ceremony takes place 11 November 2014 at The Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London.  

About the National Business Awards
Open to organisations of all sizes from all sectors across the UK, the National Business Awards is the UK's most prestigious independent business recognition platform with its particular emphasis on excellence, innovation and ethical business.  Now in its 13th year, the National Business Awards connects the nations' professionals through its annual awards ceremony; year-round thought leadership and round table events; and is UBM plc's flagship awards programme. Visit for further information or follow us on Twitter @businessawards.

Categories include -  

The Daily Telegraph Award for a Decade of Excellence in Business

The Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year

The BlackBerry Business Enabler of the Year

The Smith & Williamson Entrepreneur of the Year

The Inflexion International Growth Business of the Year

The QBE FTSE 100 Business of the Year

The Digital Business of the Year

The New Business of the Year

The Customer Focus Award

The ICAEW Sustainable Business Award

The Social Enterprise of the Year

The Corporate Citizenship Award

The Innovation Award

The Growth Business of the Year

The Employer of the Year

The Santander Small to Medium-Sized Business of the Year

The Ashridge Business School Leader of the Year

Official Partners

The Grichan Partnership, Friendly Pensions and Lime HR.  

About UBM Live 

The National Business Awards is organised by UBM Live. UBM Live connects people and creates opportunities for companies across five continents to develop new business, meet customers, launch new products, promote their brands and expand their markets.   Through premier brands such as MD&M, CPhI, IFSEC, TFM&A, Cruise Shipping Miami, the Concrete Show and many others, UBM Live exhibitions, conferences, awards programs, publications, websites and training and certification programs are an integral part of the marketing plans of companies across more than 20 industry sectors.

About Vonage  

Vonage (VG) is a leading provider of communications services connecting individuals through cloud-connected devices worldwide. The technology serves approximately 2.4 million subscribers worldwide. It provides feature-rich, affordable communication solutions that offer flexibility, portability and ease-of-use for both landlines and now smartphones via the Vonage Extensions app. Vonage offers popular features like call waiting, call forwarding, anonymous call block and visual voicemail at no additional cost. And for those who are heavy international callers, Vonage World Option offers unlimited call to over 60 countries. 

For further information or interview opportunities contact:
Rachel Branigan
Head of Communications
Tel: +44(0)207-955-3843


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