Perfect pitch: JA Company Programme student team win ISLEXPO 2018 Pitch It! first prize

Flux, the student team from Queen Elizabeth II High School who took third place in Junior Achievement’s Company of the Year competition in March, have won first prize in the Pitch It! contest at ISLEXPO 2018.

The team – Calum Dentith, Juan Gill, Andrew Gomershall, Nathan Hamer, Mikey Makin and Tom Randall – emerged top out of six finalists after presenting their business idea, Affinity, a wireless charger, to a panel of investors and entrepreneurs and a live audience.

Their prize was £1000 in cash sponsored by Bridge Angel Network and SPARK Impact, a business mentorship from contest organisers Bridge Angel Network and two months’ free membership to Barclays Eagle Lab, the new community co-working space in Victoria Street, Douglas.

FluxBridge manager Katie Nicholson said: ‘This year’s competition was opened up to the general public, giving everyone the opportunity to win a place in our final and pitch their idea at ISLEXPO 2018. Bridge has been working with the finalists behind the scenes, offering them coaching and pitch advice. What’s most impressive is that our winner is made up of a group of 17-year-olds, who have recently come through the Junior Achievement Company Programme.’

SPARK Impact director Mark Borzomato said: ‘SPARK Impact are delighted to co-sponsor the Pitch It! prize this year and the team at Flux have proven themselves worthy winners up against some stern competition. The amount of entrants and quality of finalists this year shows that both the island’s start-up community and businesses considering establishing on the island remains strong and it’s great to play a part in that development.’

Junior Achievement chief executive Sue Cook said: ‘The Company Programme gives young people not only the skills to set up and run a company but also the confidence to articulate their ideas and present their products in a professional way to seasoned business experts, so it’s a great fit with Pitch It! I congratulate all the team for winning such a hard-fought contest and thank the business community for getting behind the concept and supporting it so generously.’

Picture left to right: Sue Cook (Junior Achievement), Katie Nicholson (Bridge Angel Network), John Garland (SPARK Impact) – Callum Dentith, Mikey Makin and Andrew Gomersall from Flux.