Eight finalists bid for £120k Ignite prize money
EIGHT budding businesses from Cornwall have been shortlisted in one of Europe’s biggest business start-up competitions which offers an amazing prize fund worth more than £120,000.
The Ignite 2013 competition attracted huge interest from hundreds of people who plan either to launch a brand new business in Cornwall, or move ahead with a business they have started within the county during the last 12 months.
Organised by Oxford Innovation as part of its Coaching for High Growth Programme, the Ignite competition is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Convergence Programme together with sponsorship from a number of local businesses. This year’s principal sponsor is leading regional law firm Foot Anstey.
The competition attracted more than 240 expressions of interest and 56 official entries were submitted in total, each including a three-minute video pitch.
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The judges narrowed these down to a shortlist of eight finalists, who will now compete for the prize package in order to help get their new venture off the ground.
The finalists are:
ISO Spaces: Truro-based Ben Treleaven and Gregg Curtis have a vision to transform recycled shipping containers into modular buildings and pop-up units. The fledging company already has a strong social media presence and aims to achieve a £1 million turnover in three years.
Roseland Technologies: A water treatment company founded in January 2013 by Katy Bray and her father. Katy, based in St Mawes, wants to expand the business to focus on plumbing product sales for commercial clients and travel products for travellers and sports enthusiasts.
Beach Buddy: A company run by Nigel Pengelly and Todd Barden from Penzance who have created a comprehensive, interactive smartphone application and website to guide beach users in Cornwall to their idea beach, offering information on facilities like parking, weather, surf conditions, accommodation and events.
Cornish Gouda: A Dutch family-run business based in Lanreath and led by Giel Spierings which produces a variety of handcrafted cheeses and sells to customers including the Eden Project. The business wants to expand and become the recognised brand in the UK for premium Gouda cheese.
Cornish Masonry Stoves: A new company based near Bodmin launched by Guy Nott-Bower which manufactures and sells innovative wood-burning masonry stoves designed to age-old techniques first pioneered by the Romans.
Visit Football: An idea for an online travel company by Falmouth-based Lewis Youngson and Hannah Backhouse which would operate insightful tours including a package of hotel, transport and football-inspired extras as well tickets for matches.
Deli-pops: Started only four months ago, this business run by St Agnes couple Victoria and Joseph Waters manufactures and sells gourmet ice lollies from locally grown fruits and herbs. The pair want to make Deli-pops a nationally recognised brand.
Kernow Black: Peter Hardy from St Buryan near Penzance plans to launch a new company producing and selling more eco-friendly soil improvement products which retain water and would benefit gardeners concerned about their water bill.
The finalists were chosen by a panel of judges made up of more than 20 experienced business leaders from across Cornwall and chaired by John Stewart of World’s Apart.
Each of the eight fledgling companies will now continue to work closely with an Oxford Innovation business coach to refine their business plans before formally pitching their proposals to the Ignite 2013 judging panel. The winner will be announced on November 14th at a grand final event.