NionNet Origin wins Venture Challenge £40,000 top prize

NIONNET ORIGIN scooped the top prize of £40,000 at the Digital Greenhouse’s Guernsey Venture Challenge 2022, beating six other shortlisted businesses at a Dragon Den’s style event.

Winners of the Digital Greenhouse’s Guernsey Venture Challenge 2022 (holding gold envelopes), left to right, Youngpreneur winner Louis Pike from ISO-PASS, Dave Zak from NionNet Origin, and Trevor and Catherine Nicholls from EaseeDo. (31404523)
Winners of the Digital Greenhouse’s Guernsey Venture Challenge 2022 (holding gold envelopes), left to right, Youngpreneur winner Louis Pike from ISO-PASS, Dave Zak from NionNet Origin, and Trevor and Catherine Nicholls from EaseeDo. (31404523)

A total of 55 businesses had applied for the island’s first funded startup accelerator competition, with seven businesses shortlisted. These worked with mentors from Blenhein Chalot over an intensive six-week period before gathering for the pitch night final.

EaseeDo, Evidence, ISO-PASS, NionNet Origin, Sentient Software, Sleep Better Live Better and Troupa each pitched for the first prize of £40,000 and after questions and consideration from the judges, NionNet Origin – a code generation engine liberating developers from the repetitive work required in the application development process – was proclaimed winner.

‘It takes unwavering passion and relentless effort to get a business off the ground,’ said Dave Zak of NionNet Origin.

‘We have worked hard to create a service that will make a difference for software development around the world. What we have created is for every developer who can’t get home in daylight and every development manager that can barely see through their backlog thicket. Fully engaging with the Guernsey Venture Challenge and accessing the generous mentoring support, made sure we knew where our business was heading, and that we were pitch-ready despite the nerves. Digital Greenhouse and Blenheim Chalcot have given us a huge boost to our business. We know the power of our software and completely believe in the benefits of using it, but, oh my goodness, winning first prize showed us that all our efforts have been vindicated. You believe in us too.

‘At the presentation night we stood alongside other passionate and talented entrepreneurs so our win was even more humbling. We look forward to developing deeper relationships going forward.’

Digital Greenhouse director Lucy Kirby said: ‘Congratulations to the winning businesses of the first Guernsey Venture Challenge, and all those who applied, showcasing once again the innovation and entrepreneurial drive in the island. We look forward to continuing to work with new and growing businesses in 2023 as we expand the programmes and services offered by the Digital Greenhouse.’

Second place EaseeDo was awarded £20,000, and the Youngpreneur prize was awarded to ISO-PASS along with £5,000 prize money.

‘We were delighted to see the high quality of all the GVC finalist pitches, which is a testament to the huge efforts they have put in over the past few months with Digital Greenhouse and their mentors,’ said Nick Gregg, head of strategic projects at Blenheim Chalcot.

‘It was a very difficult decision for us as judges and we are excited to see how both the prize winners and all entrants progress in the coming months. We hope the GVC will help inspire a new wave of entrepreneurs on the island.’

The winners will be presented with their prizes at The Véyaon Awards, a new business awards celebrating innovation and entrepreneurship in Guernsey, on 17 November.

n To find out more about Guernsey Venture Challenge and to register your interest for next year visit: Digitalgreenhouse.gg/GVC

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