Apprentice runner-up Vana Koutsomitis thinks that Peterborough’s Joseph Valente was a “better choice” to win the show.
Despite losing in the final against Valente, the 27-year-old admitted her rival’s personal story and chemistry with Lord Sugar made him better suited to be the businessman’s partner.
She said: “I think that Lord Sugar really liked me and I think that Lord Sugar and I have the same vision for business, so I think that he really tried to give each of us a chance.
“But in terms of this show and in terms of this investment, and in terms of inspiring the public, Joseph was a better choice.”
She added: “It’s important to always remember that the UK public is watching us go on a journey and Lord Sugar has come from an underprivileged background and made it for himself.
“Joseph’s story aligns very well with his and he wanted to give Joseph the chance that he needed to make his plumbing business huge.
“I think that Lord Sugar chose Joseph because he felt that they had maybe a stronger personal connection and he felt that he really needed it.
“This is something he said several times, he really felt that Joseph could use a mentor and Joseph could use the support, and maybe I could have just gone and done it on my own.”
Valente won Lord Sugar’s £250,000 backing for his plumbing and gas business while Koutsomitis missed out after putting forward a plan for a gaming and dating app.
Lord Sugar was concerned his money would be a “drop in the ocean”, with the business requiring more investment before it would begin to turn a profit.
Koutsomitis said: “This is a TV show and a business competition rolled into one, and I do think that the plumbing business was a better investment for Lord Sugar’s risk appetite.
“It’s kind of like matchmaking. If you feel the click and the chemistry with your investor, and you feel that he wants to also be with you, then you feel at ease.
“But if you feel like there’s something that’s not quite right, it’s better to find someone else, and I think that Joseph and Lord Sugar were just a better match.”
Despite not winning Lord Sugar’s backing, Koutsomitis has decided to go ahead with launching her Date Play website and app.
She confirmed she was speaking to investors and considering crowd-funding - and had also been approached by several of the industry experts and investors who had seen her final pitch at City Hall during the final.
She said: “Everything’s moving very quickly but that’s probably been one of the coolest parts of the experience, having those people contact me and get in touch... I hope I can make my dream a reality and I hope I can revolutionise the online dating world.
“I really hope I can make this work and make it one of the big players.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re both winners and we’re both going to go out there and make things happen. I’m just going to be taking a different route.”