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First-time entrepreneur wins Business in You competition

Tony Curtis awarded for unique design of heated sport gloves

A nationwide search for the most outstanding start-up in the country has reached its conclusion – with the top prize going to an innovator of heated sports gloves.

Tony Curtis, founder of Alago, won the start-up business category of the competition – which was co-hosted by The Guardian and the government’s Business in You campaign – after impressing the judges with his patented design for a heated sports and leisure glove which allows sportspeople to keep their hands warm without affecting their game. Alago will dispatch its first pre-orders within the next two weeks.

Curtis will now receive one-to-one mentoring from eminent entrepreneurs including Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, founder of The Black Farmer, and £15,000 worth of advertising space in The Guardian newspaper, as well as a package of other business support.

The same prize will go to Keira O’Mara, who triumphed in the growth business category with her firm Mama Designs: creator of the Mamascarf for breastfeeding mothers. She will also receive one year membership to the Mastermind programme for female entrepreneurs.

O’Mara said of her success: “I am delighted that Mama Designs Ltd has won the Business In You competition. It is an amazing package of prizes that money can’t buy and I can’t wait to watch my business grow as a result.”

Curtis added: “Being such a small company (of one), I look for as much support as I can find. What this prize will help with is, not only spreading the word of our business and products, but making sure it’s going in the right direction to be a success.”

The competition was launched in April as part of the government’s ongoing Business in You campaign, which aims to ease the economic recovery by encouraging entrepreneurship in the UK.

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