£50,000 to student entrepreneurs

Mon, 17 Sep 2012 13:19:00 BST

Student fast food entrepreneurs Jeff and Adam receive TV praise – and a £50,000 investment – from business star Richard Reed

IN front of millions of TV viewers, two students at the University of Huddersfield have been identified as star entrepreneurs of the future and handed £50,000 to invest in their new business.  The money and the plaudits came from Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent Smoothies, who fronts new BBC 3 television series Be Your Own Boss.

The second episode featured Jeff Postlethwaite and Adam Thompson, who have both embarked on the third year of their business degrees at the University and are determined to make a big success of their concept for a chain of outlets selling healthy fast food.  Soon they will open an outlet named Twist Pasta Bar in Huddersfield town centre.

Jeff, aged 20, who is from Cumbria, and Adam, 23, from Cambridge, were initially among 1,000 applicants to take part in Be Your Own Boss.  They were one of 500 budding businesses shortlisted for the next phase of selection, given £100 and told to turn a profit, which they did by selling personalised tee-shirts.

They then went to London for a packed event at which they could pitch their business idea to Richard Reed.  At this early stage, the University of Huddersfield duo stood out and were selected as one of 40 companies to take part in an interview at Salt’s Mill, near Bradford.

“I like them.  They’re entrepreneurs.  They’re going out there and making something happen,” said Richard Reed to camera.

After the Salt’s Mill session, Jeff and Adam progressed to the final 18, meaning that Twist Pasta Bar had the opportunity of serious investment.

They  were filmed taking advice on pasta sauce from a Michelin-starred chef and when they held a special public tasting at Huddersfield’s Queensgate Market, Richard Reed himself turned up to gauge their progress.

The show culminated in a tense final session at Richard Reed’s London offices, where Adam and Jeff stated that were determined to establish one of the leading healthy fast food franchises in England.  “It will be a business that will turn over millions,” pledged Jeff.

Jeff Postlethwaite

The final pitch was successful and Twist Pasta duo was delighted when told they would receive an investment of £50,000.

Throughout the programme, Richard Reed – who comes from the Huddersfield area – was seen and heard mulling over Adam and Jeff’s prospects.  He was plainly impressed by the two students.  “These guys have done more at the age of 21 than I had.  They have shown a lot of gumption and they are sure that they can build a whole chain of healthy fast food restaurants.”

Just before he announced the £50,000 investment, the Innocent Smoothies boss told Adam and Jeff: “You really strike me as guys who mean it.  You are really receptive and responsive to all the feedback and you seem to be on an upward trend.”

Adam said that participating in Be Your Own Boss was hard work but a great experience.  “We worked on things that we had never done before and met a lot of inspirational people,” he said.

He also added his thanks to the University of Huddersfield’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bob Cryan, who has provided personal mentoring to Jeff and Adam.

“He has been absolutely fantastic and been able to help and advise us in just about any situation,” said Adam, who is studying Business Management at the University whilst Jeff is completing his degree in Enterprise Development.

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