One year and one day after our first ever Oxfordshire Soup event in Witney, we were back with our third crowdfunding and networking morning! This time we were hosted by the wonderful Abingdon and Witney College who very kindly not only provided us the space we need to host the event, but some brilliant, young business students to support the event and get involved with networking and judging process.
The day began with coffee and networking – the way every successful day should start – with the students providing not only top quality catering but top quality conversation. It was great to see the young minds of students interact with those of the businesses from all areas of Oxfordshire and from all industries. It was soon time to begin pitching but before it went ahead, the winner from the previous Soup event, Wonky Fruit, updated the crowd with details of their journey since Soup. It was a great way to show our finalists how Soup can change their business for the better in just six months!
Now, onto the competition: The first pitch was made by Leona Noronha’s Natural & Organic Hairdressing who put together a very strong pitch, next up was Rachel McGuinness with Wake up With Zest, thirdly was Carl Davies from Deluxe Health and finally, Liz Beswick with her ‘age-defying’ gin, Collagin. Each contestant had four minutes to pitch their business and then prepare for a short Q&A from the audience, they gave such strong pitches and the competition was fiercer than ever!
Once the contestants had finished, there was a break for a bite to eat for the judging process to begin. The students provided a delightful lunch of soup (a very appropriate lunch, I must say!) followed by more refreshments. After thirty minutes of deliberating, eating and more networking, the results were ready to be counted.
The room fell silent as the winner of our third Soup event, Carl Davies was announced, his win was greeted with a huge round of applause of support by everyone in the room and was a very worthy winner. Carl walked away with over £1000 in prize money, a free three-month digital marketing contract with Sigma Digital and a pocketful of useful contacts!
Overall, it was another great day for everyone involved and it seems with every event passing, the competition gets stronger and stronger. It’s great to see the impact Soup is having and has had in the past year on the business community and we truly hope to continue our events and carry on changing lives and businesses through crowdfunding. A huge thank you goes out to the Abingdon and Winey College, West Oxfordshire Council for their support and all of the businesses involved in supporting our events. We could not do what we do without the support of the local community.
If you think your start-up business would benefit from a huge cash prize, keep an eye out for our next Oxfordshire Soup event coming soon!