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Students get set to pitch to UK’s leading entrepreneurs at TiE Young Entrepr

TiE UK (The Indus Entrepreneurs) has announced the shortlist of student teams who will pitch their business plans to a panel of some of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs and venture capitalists at the TiE Young Entrepreneurs Awards on Wednesday 30 March in London.

The annual Awards mark the culmination of the TiE Young Entrepreneurs Programme (TyE), which has seen prominent entrepreneurs give their time over the past six months to teach sixth form students a curriculum of workshops on business topics with the aim of equipping and inspiring them to become entrepreneurs.

The winning UK team will participate in the TyE Global Competition for a prize of $25,000 comprising $15,000 cash and $10,000 in mentoring, legal, accounting and support services designed to empower the winning team to start a business.

TiE is the world’s leading not-for-profit network for entrepreneurs, which promotes entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking and education. TiE has 55 chapters in 13 countries with over 12,000 members. TiE UK is led by Stuart Nicol, director of Octopus Investments and George Coelho, founder of renewable energies investor, Good Energies LLP.

During the TyE Programme, the students attended finance workshops taught by George Coelho as well as lectures on subjects including law and business and marketing. The students then worked in teams with the help of a mentor chosen from TiE’s circle of prominent entrepreneurs to create their own business plans.

George Coelho said: “Teaching the finance class on the TiE Young Entrepreneurs programme is one of the most valuable activities that I do. It is a pleasure to share the joys and challenges of running a company with young people who ask insightful questions and who translate their enthusiasm and commitment into some great business plans. I am sure that it will be difficult to pick the winning team.”

Sanjeev Ahuja, TiE UK board member and managing director of Progressive Intelligence Pvt. Ltd, said about mentoring one of the teams: “Entrepreneurship is the single most powerful mechanism for the young to create wealth and economic self-reliance. Fostering entrepreneurship is rooted in seeding the mindset and I am particularly passionate about the TyE Business Planning Competition because it helps us do just that - motivate young people from all walks of life to take an idea and develop it into a viable business venture.”

20 sixth form students, divided into four teams, have been shortlisted for the Awards competition.

Team 1 (mentored by Selina Sagayam, partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP) Team 1 aims to install and maintain SpikNSpan vending machines in public toilets across the UK. The machines will vend moist multi-function wet wipes in biodegradable packs. Realising that there is a gap in the UK market for vendors of wet wipes in public toilets, SpikNSpan’s team will introduce wipes that are free from alcohol and chemical dyes and can be used for anything from cleaning up babies and cleaning hands to cleaning a toilet before use.

Team 2 (mentored by Sanjeev Ahuja, Managing Director of Progressive Intelligence Pvt. (UK) Ltd). Team 2’s product is an interactive website platform, Socialite, which will allow users to customise products using a choice of designs. Such products include jewellery, clothing, fashion accessories and protective cases for electronic devices. Socialite will operate as a social enterprise supporting the vocational and artistic development of young men and women excluded from the mainstream educational system and providing them with access to employment.

Team 3 (mentored by Vinay Kashyap and Callum King, senior associates at Summit Partners). Team 3 is launching Linglo, an online platform that streams, in real time, foreign language dubbed films beyond their home language market. Linglo caters to individuals who yearn to watch films from the comfort of their own home in languages which appeal to them. As well as appealing to film fans, the service can also be used for educational purposes as a support for foreign language learners. Research shows that 38% of people in the UK speak at least one foreign language and the country is becoming increasingly multicultural.

Team 4 (mentored by Neil Basu, CEO & managing partner of Pearl Diver Capital LLP). Team 4 has created WatchaGoton, a free website that brings a completely new dimension to the appreciation of fashion. Through the website, users are able to create and promote their own unique styles. WatchaGoton provides a completely new meaning to social networking through a unique rating and share system that allows users to discover their own unique style while rating other people and checking out the latest fashion trends. WatchGoton aims to be a new trend forecaster.

The judges for the 2011 TyE Awards are Caroline Froud, acting headmistress at Phoenix School; Jane Crawford, partner at Chamonix Private Equity; Lars Lindstedt, software economist at Microsoft; Nish Kotecha, chairman of TiE UK and founder of Gaia Finance and Sphere Partners and Stuart Nicol, TiE UK co-president and director of Octopus Investments.

Nish Kotecha, chairman of the judging panel, explained the importance of the TiE Young Entrepreneurs Programme: “In today’s environment, we need to prepare the next generation with the skills to be able to operate in a changing commercial world. TyE participants have the opportunity to engage with entrepreneurs whose daily lives are focused on value creation and taking commercial decisions to drive their business forward - critical tools to succeed in your career.”

One of the main goals of the TyE programme is to teach the students that in tough economic times entrepreneurial effort can be at the forefront of regenerating the economy. The programme is structured in an interactive way with classes designed to teach students about all aspects of operating a business while also giving them the opportunity to work with successful and established entrepreneurs. The team sessions are designed to build self-confidence and entrepreneurial skills as the students are guided by their mentors to work together and think of ways to turn their ideas into viable enterprises.

The TyE Programme reaches out to students from different backgrounds, as the objective is to encourage students to learn from each other and raise the bar of their ambitions while gaining the skills to build successful businesses.

The results are already tangible. Rebecca Moylan, the CEO of Spice, TyE Award winners in 2010, is completing a work placement in one of the main financial institutions in London before heading off to take a business management degree.
She described how being part of the TyE scheme helped her choose business as a career path: “The TyE programme opened my eyes to what it takes to be a successful person in business and, not only that, it teaches, helps and guides you to be that person. Whether your interest is in marketing, finance or even to become a CEO, the TyE programme will help you get there. It combines life lessons from top entrepreneurs with the chance to create your own business. Where else could you get that? This programme offered by TiE is an amazing opportunity, one which I know I would not find anywhere else. To anyone considering this programme; I would say, take the risk. It’s so worth it!”

TiE partnered with Career Academies UK, the national charity that links the world of education and business, which helped to promote the programme and also referred students for TyE. The programme is supported by TiE UK sponsors, ABN Amro, KPMG, HSBC, Gates and Partners and Ontario International Marketing Centre, and global sponsors, the Kauffman Foundation, Boyden and Microsoft, which is hosting the UK classes and events in its headquarters at Victoria.

Tushar Dasghose, TiE UK board member and business consultant to Microsoft, said: “It gives me great satisfaction to once again host such a beneficial programme in Microsoft’s offices. The students’ enthusiasm and responses to the entrepreneurs gives me a sense of satisfaction and hope for the next generation of our young entrepreneurs. I think this is a truly unique programme which deserves the highest recognition.”

- ENDS -
Editors Notes
Press contact: Margaret Henry, PR Consultant, TiE UK.
Tel: +44 (0)1865 261491 Email:

Photo available on request
Spice, the winning team at the 2010 TiE Young Entrepreneurs Awards, with Stuart Nicol, co-president of TiE UK and director of Octopus Investments, and Nish Kotecha, TiE UK chairman.

About the TyE Programme
The objective of the TyE Programme is to offer a curriculum taught by established industry leaders, and an associated business plan competition, with the aim of educating and inspiring young students to become entrepreneurs. TyE is a TiE Global initiative.
The vision of the programme is to empower young people to become entrepreneurs by engaging them in high quality educational programmes and mentoring designed to develop business acumen and communication skills, discover the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship and instil confidence to lead in a global environment.

Summary of courses taught by TiE UK Charter Members
Topic Speaker
Launch Event Asif Rangoonwala – Eurobuns and Valson International
Program Orientation. What is Entrepreneurship and Who's an Entrepreneur Alpesh Patel - Principal & Founder, Praefinium
Opportunity Recognition Lars Lindstedt – Software Economist, Microsoft
Marketing Part 1 Moti Shahani - Managing Director, How Might
Finance Part 1 Vinay Kashyap – Senior Associate, Summit Partners
Law & Business (To be combined with Business Models) Selina Sagayam - Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Cruthcher LLP
Finance Part 2 George Coelho – Managing Director, Good Energies (UK) LLP
Marketing - Part 2 Sanjeev Ahuja – Managing Director, Progressive Intelligence Pvt. (UK) Ltd

List of TiE UK Charter Members participating in the TyE Programme
Name Company Position
Alpesh Patel Praefinium Principal & Founder
Asif Rangoonwala Valson International Limited
George Coelho Good Energies (UK) LLP Managing Director
Indranil (Neil) Basu Pearl Diver Capital LLP CEO & Managing Partner
Nish Kotecha Sphere Partners Limited Founder
Sanjeev Ahuja Progressive Intelligence Pvt. (UK) Ltd Managing Director
Selina Sagayam Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP Partner
Vinay Kashyap Summit Partners Ltd Senior Associate

Teams participating in the TyE Programme
Teams Mentor Students School/College

Team 1

Selina Sagayam Amna Khan Lambeth College
Hibba Khalid Lambeth College
Jaz Singh Lambeth College
Maham Ishaq Lambeth College
Milahat Khan Lambeth College

Team 2

Sanjeev Ahuja Ador Alhassan Christ the King Sixth Form College
Bankole Odunlami Christ the King Sixth Form College
Gordon Chavez Christ the King Sixth Form College
Shuwana Aaron Christ the King Sixth Form College

Team 3
Vinay Kashyap
Callum King Dovile Morkunaite
Julianna Ojo Sacred Heart of Mary Girls School
Nelly Akpaka Sacred Heart of Mary Girls School
Ryan O’Callaghan
Shannon Hanson Graveney School
Temi Bazuaye Sacred Heart of Mary Girls School

Team 4

Indranil Basu Estevez Watson
Emmanuel Amponsah Lambeth College
Joshua Burrows The Charter School
Michael Olatunji The Charter School
Omar Ene The Charter School

About TiE UK
Founded in Silicon Valley in 1992, TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) is the world’s leading not for profit organisation that promotes entrepreneurship. Although its birth name signifies the South Asian or Indus roots of its founders, TiE stands for Talent, Ideas and Enterprise.
TiE’s core activities are mentoring and education programmes and networking events. The network links budding entrepreneurs to successful and prominent entrepreneurs and professionals through its unique Mentoring Programme. TiE also organises a TiEger’s Den Business Pitch Competition, inspirational networking events and Special Interest Groups in Healthcare, Outsourcing, Social Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital.
The TiE network includes many participants in the entrepreneurial ecosystem – high profile entrepreneurs as well as up and coming entrepreneurs, venture capital firms, angel investors and professionals that specialise in services to support entrepreneurs.
Launched in 2000, TiE UK operates from London and Manchester. It has over 120 Charter members and over 800 regular members, making it one of the largest Chapters globally.
TiE UK’s partners include: the CBI; London Business School, Cass Business School; British Library Business & IP Centre; Manchester Junior Chamber of Commerce; the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at Cambridge University; Manchester Business School; Manchester Metropolitan University Business School’s Centre for Enterprise and Imperial Entrepreneurs.
TiE UK is sponsored by: ABN AMRO Private Banking; HSBC Bank; KPMG; Gates and Partners; Ontario International Marketing Centre. For more information:

Career Academies UK
Career Academies UK is a registered charity founded in 2002. Inspired by the National Academy Foundation in the US, Career Academies UK was founded in 2002 and is a registered charity. It supports a movement of over 700 employers and 100 schools & colleges, working together to raise the aspirations of 16 to 19-year-olds. Over 95% of Career Academy graduates go on to higher education, or an equivalent level of work-related training, compared with a predicted 40% based on their GCSE performance at the start of the programme. For more information:
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential. For more information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at

Publisher Contact Information:

TiE UK (The Indus Entrepreneurs)
+44 (0)1865 261491

Company profile of TiE UK (The Indus Entrepreneurs)
Past press releases of TiE UK (The Indus Entrepreneurs).


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