A recent Leeds Trinity University postgraduate has received a prestigious award from the Duke of York in recognition of his entrepreneurial skills.

​Chris Hale, who founded an innovative altitude business whilst studying for an MA in Business Management, was a winner in the first ever Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Awards which were held on Tuesday 21 May.

The awards acknowledged Yorkshire and the Humber’s finest student and graduate entrepreneurs and Chris was one of ten winners who represented each of the region’s universities. Yorkshire was specifically chosen for the launch of the Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Awards due to the strength of its local partnerships, as well as the region’s success in developing business start-up services and funding.

Chris founded AcclimatiseMe whilst completing his MA in Business Management at Leeds Trinity University. The young entrepreneur has introduced cutting edge altitude training technology from New Zealand to the British market, which helps climbers to prepare for their summits, thrill seekers to conquer Kilimanjaro and elite sports professionals to improve their performance and speed up their rehab process. AcclimatiseMe continues to attract critical acclaim, with Chris currently in the running for a Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Award.

On receiving his award, Chris commented:

“It was a special honour for me to receive royal recognition and to be able to discuss AcclimatiseMe personally with the Duke. He showed both interest in, and knowledge of, the business. It was a fantastic day and I would like to thank staff from Leeds Trinity for their support and encouragement during the development of Acclimatise Me”.

Chris was nominated for the award by Phil Williams, Careers and Employability Consultant at Leeds Trinity. Phil attended the awards ceremony and commented:

“It was fantastic to see Yorkshire recognised for the work being undertaken in developing entrepreneurs for the first new Duke of York Young Entrepreneur awards. Chris impressed the royal visitor and distinguished guests, so much so that he is hopeful of gaining two new orders from those that were present at the ceremony.”

As well as the role that Chris’s MA in Business Management played in helping him to start his business, Chris was also supported by a valuable cash injection after he won the University’s annual Business Master Class competition. Held annually at Leeds Trinity University, the Business Start up MasterClass is organised with the support of the Graduate Entrepreneurship programme, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Hurol Ozcan, Leeds Trinity University’s Associate Principal Lecturer in Business Management added:

“We are very pleased and proud that one of our recent graduates from the MA in Business management and the Business Start up MasterClass has been recognised in this way. We look forward to Chris sharing his knowledge and expertise to our students on future programmes.”

The awards were held at the University of Huddersfield, where the Duke of York personally presented each of the winners with their award. The University’s Chancellor, Professor Sir Patrick Stewart, was also present to congratulate the winners. The awards are currently being developed and it is hoped they will be rolled out on a national basis for 2014.