Yo! pioneer to enrich start-ups with £8,000

Simon Woodroffe, the former Dragons’ Den entrepreneur, is offering one budding business person in their fifties a chance to compete for an investment in their idea worth over £8,000.

Having teamed up with chip maker Intel, the creator of the Yo! brand is searching for enterprising-types aged 50 or over who have an idea for a business that will harness the power of the Internet.

Much in the same style as the BBC show that made him a celebrity in the world of enterprise, Mr Woodroffe, and Intel, will reward the overall winner with £8,000 to further their business idea.

They will also receive a mentoring session from the entrepreneur, in addition to a one-to-one advisory with an expert from Intel to discuss the technological implications of the project.

The technology giant has also agreed to award the overall winner a state of the art laptop computer – a prize also reserved for two regional runners up.

As a proposal the winning ideas will make “good business sense”, show relevance to the internet and technology, and importantly, will demonstrate “profit potential.”

Growth prospects are also important, and will form the criteria for judging the three victors, as well as 10 other regional finalists who will receive a signed copy of Simon Woodroffe's book and vouchers for a meal at Yo! Sushi.

The competition’s organisers say the event is an attempt to spotlight the “crucial” role played by the UK’s senior professionals, whether they are self-employed or employed in the workforce.

“Many of Britain's over 50s have set-up successful businesses already”, the organisers said.

“In fact, research has shown that companies started by older people tend to have a 70 per cent chance of surviving the crucial first 5 years compared with 28 per cent for companies started by younger people.”

If you are aged 50 or over, and have an idea for a new business which involves the use of the Internet, or would like to develop an existing Web-based business, simply complete and return the online application form.

All entries must be received by the 31st August 2006.

A total of 13 regional winners and overall national winner will be announced in September.


9th August 2006

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