The WIE Prize – StartUp Woman competition in association with Smarta.com and Venrex Ventures is an early stage startup program that focuses heavily on, investment and mentorship. We are looking for the next female tech trailblazing entrepreneur. Do you have what it takes to be the next: Martha Lane Fox, Tamara Mellon, Natalie Massenet or even female Richard Branson? If so the WIE Prize is for you
Up to 15,000 investment in your product for which in return Venrex Ventures will receive 8% Common Stock in your company.
The winner will also receive mentorship from the WIE Prize judges who comprise of some of the most successful founders in British Business.
Smarta is the UK biggest small business online network. The ultimate advice and networking resource for anyone starting and running a small business, Smarta provides independent, entrepreneur-led support and is backed by some of the UK's top entrepreneurs.
Venrex is a private investment firm with a focus on identifying start-ups and growth companies with well-defined market demand and management teams that exhibit high growth/profit potential. 50% of Venrex’s existing portfolio includes female founded companies: Notonthehighstreet.com, Dressipi, Snapfashion, Skimlinks and Astley Clarke. They are also investors in: Smythson, Noble Macmillan and Seedcamp among others.
Simon Franks is the founder and Chairman of Redbus Group, a UK based investment group and in his career has sold business he founded or cofounded to the likes of Amazon Inc and Lionsgate Inc. Amongst its holdings today are Redbus Outdoor, (Europe’s largest In-store and point of sale media owner), Redbus Retail Services, (providing logistical services for supermarkets), and RRA, (the UK’s largest retail park billboard owner).
Between 2000 and 2004, Redbus was the UK’s fastest growing company with a compound annual growth rate in-excess of 280%. Simon has won numerous business awards including the Sunday Times/Virgin/ Microsoft, Fast Track award.
Luke Johnson is a prolific entrepreneur, best known for his involvement with Pizza Express. He is a former chairman of the Royal Society of Arts and Channel 4. He writes regular columns for the Financial Times newspaper and Management Today magazine. Johnson calls himself a "projector", in line with the 17th century term for a man involved in many different businesses. He is the part owner and chairman of Patisserie Valerie, Giraffe Restaurants, Gail's Artisan Bakery and Feng Sushi, among other businesses, and is the former owner of The Ivy, Le Caprice and J Sheeky restaurants
Shaa is CEO and founder of Smarta.com – the business support platform for entrepreneurs and business owners. Supported by Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden, Smarta provides free advice, inspiration, networking and tools to inspire and support businesses at all stages of development.
A graduate of The London School of Economics, Shaa set up her first business in 1994, a PR and Marketing company. James Dyson was one of her first clients and her role in establishing Dyson as one of the best known brands in the UK won her numerous awards including Cosmopolitan Business Woman of the Year.
In late 1999, a meeting with the legendary Sir Bob Geldof ignited a passion for the internet. As one of the founding directors of his soon to be launched travel company, www.deckchair.com Sháá found herself at the heart of the internet revolution.
A year later, Sháá decided to pursue her own venture and in 2000, raised funds to launch www.mykindaplace.com. The company was later sold to BSkyB.
Shaa has advised many businesses on their internet strategies, from the government to early social networking phenomenon Bebo. Shaa is an intrinsic part of the new wave of UK Entrepreneurs combining real entrepreneurial drive with a genuine desire to encourage and inspire others.
Kanya King, is the Founder and CEO of the Mobo Organisation (Music Of Black Origin). She worked her way up from a television researcher and a booker for Radio 2 to being the driving force behind one of Britain's most successful music awards. The annual Mobos - which is approaching it’s 20th year, has had performances from Beyonce, Kanya King, Puffy, Usher just to name a few. King also publishes the Mobo Magazine and Mobo.com an online platform and community for music lovers.
Having left school at the age of 15, Linzi Boyd has carved a diverse path in the retail world, with a career history that has seen her develop and grow brands from Acne to Oliver Spencer. After her decision to “make it big and make it fast” Linzi set up and sold her first business, a premium clothes store in Leeds, by 20. By 24 she sold her second company to Caterpillar, and went on to set up her own fashion PR agency, Surgery; bringing on board retail expert Caroline Gautier in 2001 to help head up the agency.
Over its 14 year history Surgery PR has launched exciting projects and brands into the UK market, helping to re-launch brands such as Wrangler, Lacoste, Ellesse and G-Star.
Today, Linzi’s role is overseeing Surgery Group and the 'build' side of the business, an area that Linzi is personally very passionate about. Having started as a Fashion PR agency, Surgery Group now offers a range of services that takes brands from idea stage all the way to stand out status; from idea conception, product vision, through to manufacturing, distribution and then to communications - where the original Surgery PR comes in.
The mission statement of the business is ‘ growing a brand to a stand out status is our strength, ensuring Brand Fame is our purpose’. As well as being a driven and successful entrepreneur, Linzi is a dedicated mother and wife, a lover of great food and has a great eye for style and the next big thing.
A founding partner of Venrex , investor in Notonthehighstreet, Dressipi, Snap Fashion, London-Boutiques, Merchant Archive and a few businesses founded by men (Just-Eat, Orlebar Brown).
Enter Here for the opportunity of a lifetime. Be sure to write (WIE Prize) next to your company name. Good Luck! Six finalists will be chosen to battle it out in the StartUp Woman pitch competition at this year’s WIE London- March 8th International Women’s Day. Winner will be chosen on the day.
NB: Investment subject to company passing due diligence approval process.