The winner of Coras2013 was announced at the red-carpet Awards Ceremony last Thursday, held at the Hilton Newbury Centre Hotel. Shawn Khorassani, the founder of Coras and a local entrepreneur, chose Fields of Fun as a start-up company to be awarded £10,000 cash and mentoring for a year.
One hundred guests, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Newbury, Cllr Arthur Johnson and Miss Kathryn Humble and the local MP, Richard Benyon, gathered at this glittering gala evening, the like of which has not been seen in Newbury before.
Overview of the finalists:
Fields of Fun (Winner of Coras2013): Fields of Fun offers bespoke countryside breaks, events and activity days to the English countryside – they make their clients lives easier by taking care of all the details. www.fieldsoffun.co.uk
Love Kombucha UK: Kombucha works with body to boost its natural, inbuilt ability to fight sickness and disease as well as bring a healthy balance back to metabolism and organs. www.lovekombucha.co.uk
Baby Ballerinas: Award Winning Baby Ballerinas captures the imagination of 2-5 year olds through 30 minutes of informal, fun filled dance , learning basic ballet posture through familiar songs and actions. www.babyballerinas-newbury.co.uk
Track Your: The aim of Track Your Ltd is to provide a range of quality monitoring solutions, giving carers the confidence to give their loved ones the independence they deserve. www.trackyour.co.uk
Fitelle: Fitelle create and design unique made to measure bras. It is a niche business providing a much needed service for ladies of all sizes, including clients who have undergone surgery.www.fitelle.com
Five Coras2013 finalists had the opportunity to present their businesses to the audience of over fifty companies. Shawn Khorassani, who selected the winner, said: ‘All the finalists had sound business ideas and plans for growth. It was very difficult to choose one company and in fact I intend to work with all of them in some shape or form.’
The winning company, Fields of Fun, was founded by Natalie Ash in August 2012 and with the cash award and mentoring from Shawn Khorassani, she is hoping to expand her business that provides bespoke countryside breaks. Natalie Ash said: ‘It has been a privilege to have participated in Coras2013 and an honour to have won, particularly with the standard of the competition. Of course the money will be a huge help, but Shawn’s mentorship will be invaluable in taking Fields of Fun to the next level. ‘
Melanie Millin, who presented her start-up company Love Kombucha UK at Coras2013 said: ‘It was a great event and I am thankful to Coras for having the vision in the first place.’
Another finalist, Baby Ballerina’s founder, Sharon Moore thought that her presentation in front of the large audience provided her with the perfect platform to promote her business. She said: ‘It made me realise I can feel the fear and do it anyway.’
The fourth business was presented by a local couple, Gary and Julia Brown of Track Your Ltd. They confidently introduced their range of tracking devices.
Debi Richens competed at Coras2013 to win support for her Fitelle business. She said: ‘It was an incredible night. I met amazing people and am motivated so much more. We all have won something from this event.’
Coras2013 was supported by over twenty local companies. Derek Rogers of Gardner Leader commented on the evening: ‘It was both inspiring and fun and superbly organised. I have no doubt that all five finalists have taken a lot from the process which will be of a real benefit to them in the future.
Richard Benyon, MP for Newbury, called the evening ‘a triumph.’
Sam Harper of Coras said: ‘We were overwhelmed by the success of this event and the number of comments and responses within 24 hours after it, requesting the continuation of this initiative.
Caption Left: Coras2013 Finalists – Sharon Moore of Baby Ballerinas, Natalie Ash of Fields of Fun, Melanie Millin of Love Kombucha UK, Debi Richens and Simon Tyler of Fitelle and Julia and Gary Brown of Track YourCaption Right: Natalie Ash of Fields of Fun, the Winner of Coras2013 with Shawn Khorassani of Coras