The hunt is on for the best student business ideas – NACUE Varsity Pitch



The hunt for the best student and graduate business ideas has officially launched, with £10,000 and other money can’t buy opportunities to get your hands on.

NACUE has partnered with Tata for another year to fuel fantastic ideas with their national business pitching competition.

This is the UK’s premiere competition showcasing the ideas of student and graduate entrepreneurs.

This three stage competition includes a huge public vote, a bootcamp with an impressive line up of mentors and a grand final with attendees from the media, government, corporate and startup world. This is an amazing opportunity to get your business noticed by some of the biggest companies in the UK.

This year the Ideas category finalist will additionally receive a cash prize of £500 as well as going through to the finals, with focus on the second cohort specifically targeted towards new ideas – so even if you haven’t got a business yet, you can still submit an idea. This could be your first step to making it a reality!

The competition is open to any current students at a UK university or college, or anyone who graduated after 2013. So enter here –, tell your friends and get ready for the biggest Varsity Pitch yet!

Applications close on Friday 27th July 2018, at midday.


For more information, contact 

Nacue social medias:



Full-Service Marketing Agency offers free Digital Workshops to local Manchester Businesses

cue marketing

  • Award-winning agency to offer free training to local businesses
  • Event to be held at Manchester Hall on June 27th, 2018 between 10am and 1pm
  • Training will allow businesses to understand which marketing channels will help their business grow

Manchester-based full-service marketing agency, Cue Marketing, wants to give back to the community and share their expertise by offering a free digital marketing workshop to local businesses, in order to teach them how to market their businesses effectively online.

The workshop will cover a variety of digital marketing topics, including SEO and social media marketing.

“With the ongoing growth of social media marketing and other digital channels, it’s never been more important than now for local businesses to be active online – and we’re really excited to be giving back to the business community through sharing our knowledge and experience”, comments Cue Marketing’s Operations and Marketing Director, Nick Boyle.

The event comes after news that many small businesses do not have the expertise to devise and implement a digital marketing strategy and often do not have the capital to employ an expert. A study by the United States Chamber of Commerce found that 57% of small businesses reported that they found using digital marketing tools challenging, while 61% reported difficulty in hiring workers with the right skills to manage their digital marketing.

Nick states: “We understand the challenges faced by smaller businesses when it comes to marketing – but we also understand and can demonstrate the hugely positive impact that digital marketing can have on their bottom line. We’re incredibly proud of the work we do for our clients and look forward to sharing this passion with local businesses on June 27th.”

Cue Marketing has produced great results for businesses in Manchester including Masons and Manchester Hall; increasing clicks from social media by 441%, resulting in recorded bookings growing by 850%.

The event will take place at Manchester Hall on the 27th June 2018 from 10am until 1pm. As there are only a limited number of places available, those interested in attending are urged to register their attendance as soon as possible at Attendees will then receive confirmation of their attendance via email.

For more information contact or 0161 359 3236



About CUE Marketing

CUE Marketing is a full-service digital marketing agency, based in Manchester. Since being established in 2015, the agency has grown from a team of three to a team of 11 in under three years.

Each member of the team is an experienced professional in their field, allowing CUE Marketing to provide a wide range of digital services including SEO, social media, digital PR, and website design and development.

For more information, please contact Alexandra Halpin on or 0161 359 3236.

Guest blog: David, Goliath and Me- by Farida Gibbs, CEO of Gibbs Hybrid

battle-black-board-game-411207Photo by Sebastian Voortman from Pexels

In his book David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants, Malcolm Gladwell sets out to readdress the myth of David’s invincibility.  It was not just David’s aim, says Gladwell, but the lumbering giant’s weakness that settled the issue.  Goliath was slow, clumsy and probably half-blind.  And he was a large target for a foot soldier like David, with his trusty slingshot.  So it is with small and medium-sized businesses like mine.  We must use all our skills to outwit our larger, more powerful competitors.  But, although there are many exceptions, they can be slow to respond, tone-deaf in their approach to problem-solving and top-heavy, like poor old Goliath.

In the marketplace, I find that we attract like-minded clients, of all sizes.  Corporations are looking for new ways to compete and operate in an environment that is, to put it mildly, dynamic. Many of the larger ones struggle with legacies – legacy software, legacy structures and legacy business methods. All of the strategies that served them well for years or even decades are now under scrutiny.  Slowly in some cases, radically in others, sacred cows are being jettisoned.

This creates an opportunity for SMEs.  The best of them combine cutting-edge technologies with the type of customer-obsessed business practices that most larger competitors simply can’t match.  We treat each client as if it was our only one, and we mould our practices and pace to that client – some move quickly, others are more deliberate, some will take zero financial risk, others are willing to shoulder more risk in return for a lower price.

Working with SMEs has another benefit – the CEO is not some faceless person in a far off ‘corporate office’ – it’s me!  I – and all the other CEOs of small and growing businesses – care deeply and profoundly about the people who work for me and the companies who have chosen to trust me with their business.  This kind of authenticity and connection can’t be faked.  We don’t operate like a conveyor belt, shuffling through people and clients like so many packages; we treat each client, each staff member, as an individual.  The client has access to the top decision maker always, not some corporate VP: I respond, I empower decisions, I facilitate.  Because in the end, while we don’t want to be the biggest company to serve our industry, we want to be respected and valued for what we do.  What corporate vice-president could say that?


Farida Gibbs is CEO of Gibbs Hybrid, the single source supplier of technology, outsourcing and talent management.  Based in Wallington Surrey, Gibbs Hybrid was founded in 2005 and now has additional offices in Manchester, Dublin, Gdansk, Luxembourg and New Jersey.


CUE Marketing launches fresh new website and announces new hires amid new business success

cue marketing

Manchester-based digital marketing agency, CUE Marketing, is proud to announce the launch of their brand new website, which was designed and developed by their in-house development team.

Following months of tweaking in the pipeline, the overhauled site is now live and delivers a seamlessly responsive transition between desktop and mobile, a revamped content hub, and fully informative service pages.

The fresh look isn’t just easy on the eyes; it also features exciting and creative new details that take the design to the next level, including:

  • Subtle CSS animations on the homepage banner and client logos
  • Large full-screen photography
  • Parallax images
  • The magazine-style blog that is housed separately from the website as a genuine resource for digital marketing information
  • Custom-styled and built Google Map

A shiny new website isn’t the only success CUE Marketing is celebrating this year. 2018 has also seen luxury hospitality brand Flat Cap Hotels join its client roster, adding to the growing list from a wide range of industries, including Ikon Furniture, Manchester Hall, Masons Bar and Restaurant, and Baron’s Quay in Northwich.


cue marketing 1


The year so far has also seen several new key hires made as CUE Marketing grows and expands its service offering. This includes Nick Boyle appointed as Operations and Marketing Director who joins with more than 10 years’ experience in the industry, Rafi Bitchakdjian as the new Head of Social Media, and Alexandra Halpin who joins to expand the agency’s Digital PR department.

Melissa Drummond, Managing Director of CUE Marketing, said: “We’re incredibly excited about the launch of our new site. It really has been a labour of love and it’s fantastic to see what happens when our departments work together on a project. We love the look and feel of the new site, including everything from the quirky design features to the digital content hub. It’s another piece of our marketing strategy jigsaw slotting into place ready for the future.

Ms Drummond added: “We’re looking forward to the rest of 2018 and what the year has to offer. We have big plans to grow CUE Marketing by investing more in existing and new talent, launching new services and continuing to expand our client base.”


About CUE Marketing


CUE Marketing is a full-service digital marketing agency, based in Manchester. Since being established in 2015, the agency has grown from a team of three to a team of 11 in under three years.

Each member of the team is an experienced professional in their field, allowing CUE Marketing to provide a wide range of digital services including SEO, social media, digital PR, and website design and development.

For more information, please contact Alexandra Halpin on or 0161 359 3236.

IBM named in Top 5 of America’s Top 50 Organizations for Multicultural Business Opportunities

In February 2018, IBM was selected as one of  America’s Top 50 Organizations (#4) for Multicultural Business Opportunities by OMNIKAL, known as the “Omni50.”
The Omni50 represent the Top 50 Organizations who are awarding the most business to the growing culturally diverse marketplace across the United States. These same organizations are also successfully appealing to the growing millennial generation, which, by 2020, will be the largest diverse market segment in America (a market segment that is forcing brands to evolve from minority/diversity paradigms to inclusion). Read more about it here;

T-Sticks of London are FoodTalk Awards finalists!

STICKSOLOGY Press release v1

After an overwhelming response to a call for nominations, the finalists of The FoodTalk Awards 2018 have been announced, following the first round of judging.  In addition, the judges have chosen a host of Gold Award winners, who all get to showcase their winning products on the awards evening for a chance to win the people’s choice Big Apple award. The judges must now decide several category winners in time for a glamorous awards ceremony this summer.


These deserving finalists face a nerve-jangling further process of scrutiny as they vie with each other to be named winners in these prestigious awards. Judges had entries from more than 200 companies – a truly amazing response.


All the winners of the national awards this year will be announced at a glittering ceremony at the Banking Hall in the City of London on 15 June. Tickets are on general sale from Thursday 15 March,, so be sure to book early. This event is a hugely popular celebration of the UK’s very best talent and technology in the food sector.


The FoodTalk Awards have become the most-talked-about food event of the year. The Awards, organised by The FoodTalk Show, a popular weekly podcast which champions innovation and excellence in the emerging sector of FoodTech, honouring the foodie futurists and forward thinkers in the UK.


Following on from the huge success of last year’s inaugural Awards ceremony, eight categories are up for grabs. They both celebrate the smartest products in food, drink, technology and packaging and recognise everything from food products and innovative packaging to smart kitchen gadgets and apps.


“Congratulations to all our entrants who made it to the last, most demanding stage of The FoodTalk Awards competition,” says FoodTalk show presenter and awards judge Sue Nelson, who is a food writer, former CEO of NW Fine Foods and CEO of Breakthrough Group the sponsors behind The FoodTalk Show.


“Getting this far is an amazing achievement because choosing the finalists was one of the hardest tasks I’ve had on any judging panel. Now, perhaps, the very toughest part is about to begin – honing our search on the eventual winners!


“To all those companies that just missed the final cut this time, please take heart. This is a tough awards competition across all sectors and choosing our final shortlist was incredibly difficult as the bar was set so high. You have it all to play for next year.”


Sue Nelson concludes: “The number and quality of entries was astounding, and the diversity of companies that will be represented at this year’s FoodTalk Awards is inspiring. We are looking forward to an amazing celebration on 15 June 2018 at the Banking Hall. See you there!”


Tickets are £140 plus VAT on general sale but will be discounted to £120 plus VAT to finalists who can purchase their first two tickets at that price, but then, full price for additional tickets.


The finalists for the FoodTalk Awards 2018 are:


All in the Taste Award – food

A food product that uses unusual ingredients and combinations to achieve a wonderful taste profile.


The following are gold award winners:

  • Baked by Neelu – Signature chocolate brownies (gluten, dairy and soya free and vegan)
  • Kinomi Nuts – Bari bari barus (wild nut grown in pods in Brazil’s Cerrado savanna)
  • Fifth Dimension Chocolates – Soy caramel sauce (soya sauce-based caramel)
  • Rubies in the Rubble – Banana ketchup (made with food waste bananas)
  • Morocco Gold – Single estate extra virgin olive oil (Morocco’s first extra virgin olive oil)

The People’s Choice award will be chosen by our guests at the awards dinner.




All in the Taste Award – drink

A drink product that uses unusual ingredients and combinations to achieve a wonderful taste profile.


The following are gold award winners:

  • YumCha – Moroccan mint ice tea (using gunpowder tea leaves that make berber whisky)
  • World of Zing – Bordeaux barrel aged negroni (aromatic and complex bitter cocktail)
  • Dalston’s – Cola (cola nuts, citrus, spices and lavender)
  • Longflint Drinks Co – Hibiscus, gin tonic (cold brewed hibiscus flowers in gin and tonic)
  • Double Dutch – Pomegranate and basil tonic water (herbaceous aroma with sweet finish)

The People’s Choice award will be chosen by our guests on the night of the awards dinner.


Clean Eating Award

A traditional factory-produced food or drink product that has been stripped of preservatives, additives or other ingredients and now offers a healthier, cleaner choice.


The following are finalists:

  • Moose Maple – Moose maple butter (just British butter, maple syrup and a touch of salt)
  • Hunter & Gather – Avocado oil mayonnaise (just avocado oil, egg yolk, cider vinegar, salt)
  • On The Menu – Real good ketchup (78% less salt and xylitol from sustainable birch forests)
  • Green Cola – Green Cola (using stevia and natural caffeine from green coffee beans)
  • Urban Cordial – Apple, lemon and fennel cordial (just apple, lemon, fennel, sugar)
  • Eat First – Teriyaki tofu (vegan, dairy and gluten free using GM-free soy beans)


Two silver awards and the gold winner will be chosen by our judging panel for announcement at the awards dinner.


Free-From Award

A food or drink product where traditional allergens or ingredients have been removed, but you would never know it.  We’re talking great taste without the nasties.


The following are finalists:

  • Nutcrafter Creamery – Ancient cheddah (vegan)
  • Bonnie Yau – Thai style satay sauce (vegan and peanut free)
  • Mr. Singh’s – Punjabi cooking paste (vegan and gluten free)
  • La Cremerie – Vanilla yogurt (dairy and sugar free)
  • Champion & Reeves – Dessert nougat (gluten and gelatine free)
  • Oast to Host – Pastry mix (gluten and wheat flour free)


Two silver awards and the gold winner will be chosen by our judging panel for announcement at the awards dinner.


Smart Packaging Award

Not pretty packaging, but product innovation to protect and transport our food and drink, whether for retail, takeaway or delivery.


The following are finalists:

  • Wool Cool – Sustainable packaging
  • WK Thomas – Eco-friendly range
  • T Sticks of London – T stick
  • Snact – Plastic-free packaging
  • Tiggs – Tiny Tigg pack
  • Cornware – Biodegradable sushi tray


Two silver awards and the gold winner will be chosen by our judging panel for announcement at the awards dinner.


Smart Tech/Kitchen Award

Smart gadgets, apps and technology to make cooking, preparing or analysing our food easy-peasy.


The following are finalists:

  • Sous Vide Tools – iVide cooker
  • Mr Lees – Noodle kiosk
  • Kafoodle – Kafoodle
  • Teapy – Teapy
  • Still on the Move – Mobile distillery
  • Yumpingo – Food intelligence platform


Two silver awards and the gold winner will be chosen by our judging panel for announcement at the awards dinner.


Presenters’ Award

The weirdest food, drink, gadget or technology that we’ve had on The FoodTalk Show in the last year. The winner will be the product that we think is different but incredibly clever at the same time.


The following are finalists:

  • The Vurger Co – 100% plant-based burgers
  • Dunnet Bay Distillers – Holy grass vodka
  • The Chocolate Smiths – Cheese and cracker chocolate
  • St Ewe – Boost the roost free range eggs


The gold winner will be chosen by our presenters for announcement at the awards dinner.


The Impossible to Categorise Award

The most interesting food-related person or company that we’ve had on The FoodTalk Show in the last year. The winner will be someone we believe is making a real contribution to the food sector.


The following are finalists:

  • Little Cook Box
  • Petrow Quality Kernels
  • Gerald McDonald & Co
  • Helen Roberts of Wandsworth Foodies

The gold winner will be chosen by our presenters for announcement at the awards dinner.


Press release provided by T-Sticks of London; originally from

Leadership Coach and CEO of BE GREAT Training Hiten Bhatt to speak about his new leadership book at grand London event

On the top of the world




International Speaker, Author, Leadership Coach and CEO of BE GREAT Training Hiten Bhatt will be speaking about his new book, “The Leadership Adventure – Five Powerful Secrets Every Leader Should Know to Motivate People & Maximise Productivity” at a grand event in London on the 12th July.


The book contains five powerful secrets of leadership, it is a book for anyone who finds themselves in a leadership position and wants to do a better job. We are all leaders! If you are a parent you are a leader to your child, if you have a spouse, partner or friend you will at times be a leader to them and of course if in your career or business you are responsible for a team you are a leader. Leadership extends into all areas of life, developing great leadership qualities in people is vital for organizations and businesses to stay ahead of the competition and really maximize productivity, profits and results. Leadership is also a journey of self-discovery and personal development, an adventure! This book will teach you how to really get the most out of your yourself and your people through a unique perspective on leadership and personal growth.

To obtain your copy please visit


Hiten’s training workshops and coaching workshops are unique, transformational experiences that have positively impacted businesses and changed the lives of individuals all around the world. Hiten, previously worked in the legal profession and left his career in law to pursue his calling, teaching leaders from all walks of life and backgrounds, from CEOs, senior executives, entrepreneurs, professional athletes, teachers, parents and young people how they can give their true gift to the world and unleash their true potential. He delivers his brand of magic with humour, play and deep practical insight. He is the founder of BE GREAT Training, a business built on the principle that learning, growth and improvement is an exciting adventure of discovery that never ends. Hiten often asks leaders an interesting question, if living things grow, and you are not growing, what are you?


Please see video links below to see the BE GREAT Workshops in action:-


To find out more about the talk on the 12th July or about how Hiten could help develop your team please email or call 07817899762 for an initial discussion.

zsah becomes a vital weapon in the war on GDPR.


The war between most companies and public-sector organisations and GDPR has reached its peak lately, with many making it over the 25th May finishing line.

Up until recently, GDPR was the clear winner in this battle, with many CEO’s quivering in fear as GDPR dominated their workload, leaving the rest of their organisation stranded.

However, the sides soon equalised and organisations were able to return to their day to day business, leaving the stress of the GDPR battle behind them.

How? They changed their strategy.

Rather than focusing on the daunting task of ensuring their entire organisation was compliant, they shifted their focus and chose to protect one key aspect, their email.

zsah 1

Like any good strategy, they had to review where others, like them, had fallen. Some of the most famous recent cases of data breaches have happened through email. This included recent high-profile cases such as Age UK’s breach that compromised up to 5,000 of their employees. Age UK’s breach happened because an employee sent out sensitive data to a non-secure email address.

Similarly, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea were fined £120,000 by the ICO because they accidentally identified 943 people who owned vacant properties in the borough via an email attachment.

In fact, according to Osterman research, 74% of a company’s intellectual property resides in an email or attachment, making email the hardest to justify not protecting.

With resources running low and time running short, organisations played their trump card and used zsah’s Secure Email Gateway as the main weapon to secure private email data.

zsah’s Secure Email Gateway combines award winning email gateway software with GDPR policies enabled, along with the full email encryption service, to offer protection on their entire email.

The protection includes (but is not limited to) PDF attachments, inbound attacks, outbound accidental data loss, password protection and offers a secure way to send any commercially sensitive information using encryption, even if the person receiving the email doesn’t have encrypted email their side! (More information:

However, the technology and software within zsah’s GDPR busting solution was not the only thing that made it so effective. At only £120, per user/per year (+VAT), the solution was low cost enough and therefore further enabled organisations to get back to day to day normality, in the aftermath of the GDPR war. Organisations were up and running within the hour (installation only took a matter of minutes as it’s cloud based) and it did not affect the smooth running of their current email system. The service works with all major email providers, such as Office 365, Microsoft Exchange, and G Suite, Notes for Business.

It’s not too late, GDPR has not won yet.

If you want to join the many organisations that use zsah’s email gateway as the ultimate weapon in the fight for GDPR compliance, then call us today on 020 7060 6032, or email

Good luck!


Follow us on social media for more updates ( and

Gibbs Hybrid chooses Infoshare, Europe’s largest tech event, to preview product announcements and showcase its new Poland business operation.

Gibbs Hybrid staff at the Infoshare Conference

Gibbs Hybrid staff at the Infoshare Conference

Gibbs Hybrid, the single source supplier of technology, outsourcing and talent management, gave a preview of its upcoming BUDI (Business Platform for Unified Development and Integration) solution at this week’s Infoshare conference in Gdansk, Poland.  The company’s new Poland manager, Marta Lyczmanska, was on hand at the Gibbs Hybrid booth to introduce her team and discuss business opportunities with the 3000-plus attendees at the show.

‘We see Poland as a significant new business opportunity,’ said Gibbs Hybrid founder and CEO Farida Gibbs. ‘The level of technology expertise there is high and the talent pool is deep.  We believe that potential clients in Poland, especially those with a global footprint, will respond well to our proven ability to deliver the best solutions at the best price, remove barriers to innovation, and thereby gain competitive advantage.’

Added Marta Lyczmanska, ‘In the race for talent, in Poland as elsewhere, Gibbs Hybrid has the edge.  The edge is our ability to quickly and successfully match projects to people, and maintain an ongoing relationship with both the consultant and client throughout the life of the project.’

Photo 23-05-2018, 15 31 16

The company took the opportunity to preview its BUDI service during the Infoshare conference.  BUDI provides businesses with the ‘digital glue’ they need to integrate the multiple systems and processes that support HR, Procurement and Recruitment activities.  Gibbs Hybrid Head of Technology, Digital & Data James Waite presented the platform to a full house at the conference. ‘We had an audience that spanned potential candidates as well as potential corporate users of the platform,’ he said. ‘Feedback from both of those sides was very positive, because the issue of managing multiple databases and double keying of information is frustrating to everyone.  BUDI offers a way through this to a more integrated, seamless experience.’

Based in Wallington Surrey, Gibbs Hybrid was founded in 2006 and now has additional offices in Manchester, Dublin, Luxembourg and New Jersey.

Photo 23-05-2018, 12 51 35


Top 100

Sustainable bamboo tissue manufacturer The Cheeky Panda has made it into the UK’s top 100 startups.

Coming in at 58 this recognition is a huge accomplishment for The Cheeky Panda team. This is the first time the sustainable company has appeared on the list since co founders Julie Chen and Chris Forbes started The Cheeky Panda in 2016. In this short space of time The Cheeky Panda have developed a juicy range of bamboo tissue products. From toilet tissues, facial tissues, pocket tissues, dinner napkins and their award winning bamboo kitchen rolls. It seems the only way is up for The Cheeky Panda, when using their bamboo tissues you can quite literally save the trees with every sneeze! And with each pack brought your money will go towards protecting rain forests in Vietnam. Their natural tissues are the first in the UK to be vegan registered and are also available on Amazon, Ocado, Wholefoods, Planet Organic, As Nature Intended, coming soon to Morrisons and Booths. With listings internationally, it won’t be long until the whole planet is getting Cheeky like the panda!

To join the conversation head over to The Cheeky Panda Facebook, Instagram and Twitter where The Cheeky Panda hold regular Eco competitions!  #StayCheeky

To see The Cheeky Panda’s feature in UK Top 100 Startups please follow the link: