Kenlock wins £20,000 entrepreneurs award
The future looks bright for a Leicester lighting and technology company after two entrepreneurs won £20,000 at a regional business competition.
Twenty-four-year-old Anne Kenyon and Ian Kenyon, aged 25, who have formed technology company Kenlock, received a £10,000 grant and £10,000 worth of mentoring and accounting advice after winning the 2015 Baldwins Accountants’ KickStart Young Entrepreneurs Awards.
The duo pitched their business idea to transform the home lighting industry in front of around 400 guests at the third KickStart Awards organised by Baldwins Accountants at a black-tie dinner at Villa Park, Birmingham.
From the left, David Baldwin (Baldwins Accountants), Anne Kenyon and Ian Kenyon (Kenlock)
Their presentation included showcasing Kenlock’s Yuma prototype to promote Organic-LEDs (OLEDs) and some of their other product ideas including a multi-function table top for a bedside table.
Runners-up Di Valore Watches and Stormburst Studios from Birmingham were presented with £5,000 of mentoring and accountancy advice.
Ian said to win was slightly overwhelming and the prize would allow them take their new business to the next stage.
“I think winning the competition really does give us a kick start and it will help us to turn our ideas and prototypes into real products” he said.
“This now gives us the impetus to go forward and start the next chapter in our journey.
“We want to bring products containing cutting-edge technology to the mass-market and we hope to do this by developing a range of OLED products.”
Anne said there was a gap in the market for this kind of technology and they were excited about the idea of bringing awareness to a wider audience.
She said: “It is important to make people aware of the benefits that OLEDs have to offer and try and make the technology more readily available.”
Anne also encouraged other young entrepreneurs to apply for next year’s Baldwins Accountants’ KickStart Young Entrepreneurs Awards.
“Don’t hesitate, just apply,” she said. “It is a fantastic opportunity and the input we have had from Baldwins has been really helpful.
“Even getting to the interview stage meant we could discuss our business plan and develop some of our ideas.”
David Baldwin, a partner at Baldwins Accountants, said, as always, the decision to award the top prize had been extremely difficult.
“It was tough because all three businesses had great ideas and they will all go on to be successful,” he said.
“Anne and Ian have a particularly strong innovative idea which could help to revolutionise the home lighting industry and their passion and determination was evident in their presentation.
“We will help each of the finalists with advice and support, as we have done in previous years, to help them achieve their goals for the future.”
The evening also raised £10,000 for Baldwins Accountants’ official charity partner, HelpHarryHelpOthers, through an auction and raffle.