Ahead of the 4th annual Inspiring Innovator of the Year Awards on 5th June, we caught up with founders Paul Beach, Director of Private Banking and Shalu Kara, Wealth Planning Executive.

What can you tell me about Inspiring Innovator of the year?

The Inspiring Innovator of the Year award was created by the Entrepreneurs team at Arbuthnot Latham to join the dots across the entrepreneurial ecosystem in London, linking fresh talent with experienced entrepreneurs and mentors. We have partnered with Cass Business School, part of City, University of London to reward and recognise the exceptional entrepreneurial talent and spirit evolving in London. Inspiring Innovator of the Year is in its fourth year, having helped 12 companies compete in the marketplace to succeed with their ideas. This year, we are looking forward to growing our alumni by another four companies. These companies will present their business plan at our event and our guests will vote to choose the winner.

What’s happened to previous finalists?

The businesses who have come through this programme continue to surprise and delight us, and we feel very proud seeing them grow.  Some are at the minimum viable product stage, while others are turning over in excess of £1m. We’ve seen businesses move from the home kitchen to professional locations, we’ve seen some great collaborations with household names and many of the businesses are now creating employment opportunities for others.

Why is this important to Arbuthnot Latham?

Arbuthnot Latham is a proud champion of entrepreneurship and the benefits it brings to our economy and society. Our teams work in partnership with entrepreneurs and are embedded in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of London and beyond. From inception through to life after exit, our dedicated teams are on hand to support with discrete, valuable and qualified advice.

What do you look for in an Inspiring Innovator?

Our finalists this year each have their own inspiring story to tell.  We are looking for ambition, the ability to identify and seize an opportunity, determination, the desire to collaborate, passion, energy, enthusiasm and that ‘don’t give up spirit’. We want to see finalists who are finding solutions to problems, disrupting their market and challenging the status quo. We want our finalists to join the talent in our ever growing Inspiring Innovator talent pool.

What support does the winner receive?

The winner is crowned on the evening and receives a cash prize. This is followed by the winner’s lunch where we discuss the winner’s needs and objectives for their business to help us put together a bespoke mentoring package. This could include referrals to our contacts, help with raising capital, the construction of business plans, and opening a private bank account with Arbuthnot Latham. This year the winner will also have access to the Envestors platform. The bespoke prize is tailored to the finalist’s needs, similar to how Arbuthnot Latham would tailor its wealth management proposition for one of their clients.

Are there any trends you’ve seen from previous finalists?

We have seen the previous finalists build their businesses from the early start-up phase to a position of strength where their products are now benefiting the community. The businesses are representative of our entrepreneurial ecosystem. Over the last three years there have been three main themes amongst our finalists. These include: food (with focus on allergens and veganism as people become more conscious about what they are eating), technology (a fast paced and growing sector with endless opportunities), and sustainability (which considers issues like recycling and global warming).

Can you share any information about this year’s finalists?

We have four finalists this year:

  1. Alien Security: An ethical hacking service
  2. Calm Creation: A wellbeing platform using art as a form of meditation
  3. Mentorite: A B2B all empowered talent platform
  4. Seven Cherries: A zero waste, sustainable, food catering service.

Our themes from previous years continue as this year’s finalists cover the tech, wellbeing, and food industries.

What role does Arbuthnot Latham play in the entrepreneurial ecosystem?

The Entrepreneur’s team at Arbuthnot Latham is 21 strong and the largest team in the bank. We service clients from early stage start-up right through to business owners who are looking to exit from their business. We also look after serial entrepreneurs and investors. Arbuthnot Latham recently won the Outstanding Achievement Award at the City of London Wealth Management Awards for its contribution to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, in particular supporting younger entrepreneurs.

Can you tell me more about the partnership with City University?

We work very closely with City University to support young entrepreneurs in their journey. Both of us [Paul Beach and Shalu Kara] have been invited to judge at a number of events at the Launch Lab, Made at City and CitySparks.  Collaborating with City has allowed us to work alongside Costas Andriopoulos, Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Associate Dean for Entrepreneurship, Cass Business School, Alex Elkins, Entrepreneurship Education Manager, Aurore Hochard, Head of Entrepreneurship Programmes, Cass Business School and Rebecca Sharpe, Start-Up Incubator Manager. These individuals are an extension of the Arbuthnot Latham family.

We are looking forward to some great pitches on 5th June.