As a young black entrepreneur with limited industry contacts, 29-year-old Timothy Armoo has defied the odds in raising investment, scaling and selling his social media startup Fanbytes for a multi-eight-figure exit.

Armoo grew up in Ghana with his grandmother before returning to England aged 10 to live with his dad in a fourth-floor flat on a council estate off London’s Old Kent Road. 

He set up his first business at 14, offering a tutoring service to his fellow students. 

Fast-forward to the present and the Londoner has scaled and sold multiple businesses, and been listed in Forbes’ 30-under-30.

Now the entrepreneur wants to give back and is running a competition that asks the public to share their business ideas, with the winning pitch receiving $10,000, a MacBook Pro and mentorship to bring the idea to life.

“I know starting a business can be hard and money is a big part of that,” said Armoo. “But so is knowing what to do, which is why this competition was set up to remove the two biggest barriers that stop people from setting up their business: funding and mentorship.

“Growing up, I didn’t see many business role models that looked like me. Sure, there were footballers and musicians who I looked up to, but I could probably count the number of business people from minority backgrounds in the UK on one hand.

“Even now, while things have improved, I still think there is a long way to go and representation is a big part of that and so is access – that’s why we’re launching this fund.

“We want this to be open to everyone – anyone with an idea, with an aspiration can apply to our underdog initiative – with the winning pitch receiving $10,000 USD funding with no strings attached and access to free resources and mentorship.”

Praetura completes first VCT Investment into AccessPay

Armoo is running the competition in collaboration with Sky’s the Limit, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting underrepresented entrepreneurs.

The competition is open for one month until 17th July, with applicants then narrowed down to three finalists, who will all receive a free Macbook Pro.

All participants in the initiative will gain access to a raft of resources designed to help them succeed, including direct mentorship, a business checklist using Armoo’s personal system to evaluate the viability of business ideas, as well as a guide to creating compelling business pitches. 

Applicants will also receive access to Armoo’s personal recommended reading list with insights from the most influential business books that have shaped his career.

Bo Ghirardelli, co-founder & CEO at Sky’s the Limit, said: “Tens of millions of families in the US and UK have less than $1,000 in savings. And since most entrepreneurs get their start with friends and family funding, there are millions of entrepreneurs who can’t access the risk-tolerant startup capital they need to launch. 

“Sky’s the Limit exists to address this opportunity gap, as well as gaps in social capital and entrepreneurship education, for earliest-stage underestimated entrepreneurs.”

Nic Cary, co-founder & chairman at, and co-founder & chairman at Sky’s the Limit, added: “If you’ve got a chip on your shoulder, listen up. This is your chance to win startup grants, free business checklists, and opportunities to get mentored by serial entrepreneurs who have your back. 

“We’re rooting for you. I’ve started companies that have grown to be worth over $10 billion, and it’s hard – but with a good idea, focus, and support, you can achieve your potential.”

Code First Girls reaches 200,000 milestone