FILM maker George Wilkins was voted Entrepreneur of the Year at a showcase for graduate businesses judged by Connexin.
Mr Wilkins, 27, who graduated from Hull University in 2011, is the founder and managing director of Hull-based Panopticon Films.
He was one of 12 graduates turned entrepreneurs competing at the Entrepreneurs’ Day held at Hull University’s Enterprise Centre.
Connexin Managing Director Furqan Alamgir, Chief Operating Officer Alex Yeung, Finance Director Jonathan Wells and Malcolm Joslin, President of Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce, judged presentations from all 12 graduate businesses before choosing the winners in three categories.
Mr Wilkins said: “It’s great to be recognised for the effort we have put in over the years. For proven entrepreneurs to say what we are doing is pretty special is a real compliment.
“It also helps on a personal level to be recognised for what we have done. You spend so much time as an entrepreneur trying to keep yourself motivated so when other people tell you they are impressed it’s a big boost.”
The other two winners on the day were Sarah Dawkins Health Consultancy, which won the Company to Watch 2013 and Badgers of Bohemia Design House, which won E-commerce Innovation of the Year 2013.
Sarah Dawkins, founder of Sarah Dawkins Health Consultancy, based in Brough, said: “It feels amazing to win an award. It will help to get my name known and it will spur me on to do more and more.”
Emily Jayne Cant, 23, founder of Badgers of Bohemia Design House, said: “This is brilliant because it can be quite solitary starting your own business. People have approached me and said how much they like what I am doing which is great for your confidence.”
Each of the winners receives an internet phone package including the latest handsets, a five-page website design and five days mentoring from Connexin.
Mr Alamgir said: “I was amazed by how much entrepreneurial talent was on display. I thought all the entrepreneurs were inspiring, creative and had well thought out ideas.
“Hopefully, the event will encourage them to believe in themselves even more and take even more risks to make their dreams a reality.”
The Entrepreneurs’ Day was organised by the Graduate Entrepreneurship Project, which brings together universities across Yorkshire and the Humber to help students and graduates who are looking to start up in business.
Mr Alamgir and Mr Yeung delivered the keynote speech and answered questions from the audience following an opening address by Mr Joslin.
Liz Johnson, Graduate Entrepreneurship project manager, said: “All the entrepreneurs are winners because in this difficult economic climate they have taken a risk and started their own business. The Graduate Entrepreneurship Project is there to support them every step of the way.”
The Graduate Entrepreneurship Project is part funded by the European Union through European Regional Development Funding under the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme 2007-13.