This year we are excited to welcome Frances Valintine, Founder and Chair of The Mind Lab, to our APAC Judging Panel!
Frances brings with her not only 20 years’ experience across business, technology, education and thought-leadership in emerging and disruptive technologies but also experience and insight as a 2014 Unleashed Award winner of Best Start Up.
Frances told us, “I love the passion, enthusiasm and commitment in early stage businesses. Those first few years are often the most challenging but strong united teams can achieve so much with often limited resources.
“Having the opportunity to gain insight from founders and start up teams is a real privilege. I am really looking forward to seeing the diversity of business ideas coming to life.”
As a Regional judge for 2017, Frances is looking forward to reviewing applications, and will be looking for entries which show a very clear purpose and a deep understanding of the market that the business is looking to serve. She is especially looking for bucket-loads of passion and a strong commitment to ethical & sustainable business practice.
When The Mind Lab won the Unleashed Awards in 2014, the organisation was still in early startup stage, working around the clock to develop a sustainable financial model that would allow them to grow.
Frances explains how winning an Unleashed Award impacted her business, “Winning gave the entire team a massive confidence boost. We saw the acknowledgement as validation that we were on track.
“Since the Awards, we have grown exponentially in terms of staff, new locations, education impact and ambition.”
For small businesses and individuals looking to apply for the 2017 Talent Unleashed Awards, Frances has a few tips for entrants on how to make their application stand out:
“A well written submission tells a story that brings the business to life on the page. Include where the initial business idea came from and what motivates the team to keep striving to make it better.
“We live in a technological world and business models are having to change to stay agile and adaptable. If you have harnessed a community, or if you use machine learning to improve systems or if you have automated business responses, we want to know about it.”
Frances also explained applicants should be careful not to use acronyms or terms that are highly specific to their sector.
“Be concise and try not to repeat key messaging,” she said.
The Talent Unleashed Awards are all about supporting the startup sector and those pushing boundaries, disrupting and innovating. It’s been incredible to have been able to support Frances on her entrepreneurial journey and it will be excellent to have her share her insights with this year’s finalists.
To find out more about our 2017 Judging Panel click here.