CAPE TOWN – Nicholas Kiama has been recognised as Kenya's next young entrepreneur after he won the Radisson Blu Hotel, Nairobi Upper Hill’s #BLUPITCH Elevator contest.
Kiama won the competition for his business idea of a sustainable clothing fashion line that takes second-hand clothes and upcycles them to be trendy and fashionable again.
Designed to provide young entrepreneurs, innovators, and start-ups based in Kenya with an innovative platform to pitch their best original idea, #BLUPITCH attracted a number of submissions from across the country. The top eight were selected to go to the hotel on October 12 to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.
After a nervous start, Kiama managed to impress all the judges with his business know-how, his thorough research and his passion. The judges loved his idea and he walked away with two mentors.
In keeping with the concept of the competition, one of the elevators in the hotel set the scene for the final round of pitches. Each entrant had approximately 60 seconds - the time it takes the elevator to reach the eighth floor and return to the lobby - to impress the judges with their business idea.
From there, the top three contestants went through to the semi-finals. The panel had 10 minutes to ask each of the finalists a series of questions about their pitch before selecting the eventual winner.
The panel consisted of former TV star/producer and fashionpreneur Diana Opoti, who is also offering fashion designers a chance to showcase their clothing line in Design Africa Collective, retail and business entrepreneur, Trushar Khetia and Ian Rydin, general manager Radisson Blu Hotel Nairobi and East Africa’s District director of the Radisson Hotel Group.
Rydin said: “This innovative competition shows our commitment to nurturing young talent in Kenya. Using #BLUPITCH as the platform, we want to give budding local entrepreneurs a fun way to position themselves and the chance to win mentorship of a member of the panel of judges.”
The final eight business ideas ranged from a fashion range focused on mothers and their children to micro-greens for hotels in Nairobi to a way to get lost personal documents back to their owners.
African News Agency (ANA)