The Spring 2014 Brand Amplifier Awards Night at ITV Studios was not just a celebration of the evening’s winners, but of the strength of the programme’s finalists and the progress they’d made through their four-week entrepreneurial boot camp. Five winners were picked from the field of 22, with Emma Lanman of Van Girls taking home first place, and the illustrious £2,500 prize.
Emma’s exalted reaction captured on Vine: https://vine.co/v/MA6pt53ej9h
The ceremony followed a dynamic afternoon that had finalists giving their five-minute pitches before a panel of judges, composed of BA Trustees Georgie Bingham and Yolande LeRoy, as well as 2012 Brand Amplifier alum Ellie Laycock.
Participants exhibited the knowledge they’d gained about marketing, PR, social media and JP’s signature secret sauce – The Art of Branding, as they showed where their businesses currently stood and where they were headed. Follow-up questions were confidently addressed, slices of gateau and cupcakes were indulgently sampled and it’s safe to say that, once the last presentation wrapped up, the judges were left with a very difficult decision on their hands.
Aside from Van Girls, honours also went to start-ups Curious Handmade and Thinking Bob (£1,500 shared), Vicky’s Kitchen (£750) and Konfikids (£1,200 social media package).
22 women participated in Brand Amplifier this year, each possessing their own unique talents and backgrounds. Entries ranged from restaurants and confectionery businesses to ambitious tech start-ups and post-academic mentorships. While they represented a diverse spectrum of industries and disciplines, all 22 pitches were fuelled by the energy and passion of their founders, as well as the experience gained from Brand Amplifier. Having sat in on the presentations, I can attest that every woman should be proud of what she has accomplished and equally excited about what the future holds.
This year, Brand Amplifier was also privileged to have the sponsorship of J.P. Morgan, whose funding not only contributed to the memorable evening but will also push the charity programme into even greater heights moving forward. The once-yearly workshop will now be held twice a year, giving it the opportunity to reach more budding entrepreneurs than ever before.
Jeannette Pritchard, founder and Chair Trustee of Brand Amplifier, had this to say about the programme, now in its fifth year: “I established Brand Amplifier in 2009 with a real desire to share my branding knowledge in hopes it could help female entrepreneurs succeed and also boost economic recovery despite a global financial recession. Each edition incorporates the additional insights, business advice, mentorship and branding coaching of leading successful female entrepreneurs from a wide range of sectors. Every year, participants tell me it’s been a life-changing experience, whether helping overcome financial or work-balance issues or just giving ambitious, smart women the network and know-how that catapults their business to dramatic levels of growth, investment, and development.”
There was no shortage of powerful images on the night, be it in the way all the participants cheered each other on, the striking visuals that decorated the room, or in the lasting image of Van Girls’ CEO and founder Emma Lanman flexing on stage as she accepted her award. With all they have ahead of them, this won’t be the last time we hear the women of Brand Amplifier 2014 roar.