Stars of tomorrow: Young entrepreneurs win support for their fledgling firms

Competition winners (L to R) Dr Blaise Potard, Monica Camino, Michael Harkins and Alison Wood. Picture: contributed.
Competition winners (L to R) Dr Blaise Potard, Monica Camino, Michael Harkins and Alison Wood. Picture: contributed.
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Three companies led by young entrepreneurs have earned a place at business boot camp after winning an event in Edinburgh organised by The Duke of York.

The Pitch@Palace competition supports budding entrepreneurs with their business ideas.

The winners were Michael Harkins, who developed a fun children’s swimming aid, Alison Wood, who founded a social enterprise providing reusable sanitary pads in rural Kenya, and Mónica Camino and Dr Blaise Potard who are CEO and CTO, respectively, of a translation technologies company.

Harkins, founder & CEO of swimming aid company Turtle Pack, said: “It was a huge honour to pitch in front of His Royal Highness.

“It’s even more unbelievable to be crowned one of the Pitch@Palace On Tour Edinburgh winners and to receive the recognition from The Duke of York is truly amazing.

Camino, CEO of Dialexy, a web app that uses AI to process and translate official documents in every language, said: “Pitching was a fantastic experience.

“For me personally it was a very special day because I got to pitch at Heriot-Watt University, surrounded by my MBA classmates and Edinburgh Business School’s staff. It was fantastic to see from the stage those familiar, encouraging faces who have helped me grow over the past year.

“In terms of business development, our first goal for the next year is to complete the development of the product, so that we can involve certified translators working remotely as well as in house, and to pilot our technology with the organisations requiring certified translation.”