Final push for Ignite finalists

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The eight finalists shortlisted in Ignite 2013 – one of Europe’s biggest business start-up competitions – are preparing to pitch before the grand final this month in the hope of winning prize fund worth more than £120k.

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After hundreds of applications and a series of workshops, the Ignite 2013 competition organised by Oxford Innovation concludes at an event being held at Pendennis Castle in Falmouth on November 14.

Each of the eight fledgling companies who were shortlisted as finalists will be given the chance to formally pitch their business proposals to the Ignite 2013 judging panel before the winner is announced two days later at the final.

The winning company will receive a prize package valued at over £120k to help them launch their new business venture – including £25k in cash, and a comprehensive package of support from well-established Cornish companies who contribute everything a fledgling business needs, from product design to legal advice.

Ignite project manager and Oxford Innovation coach, Alan Street, said: “The finalists chosen this year offer a very varied and hugely innovative range of business ideas, and I’m sure the expert judging panel is going to have a difficult job selecting the overall winner from so many fantastic proposals.”

Ignite 2013 has attracted huge interest in its fourth year from people who either planned to launch a brand new business in Cornwall, or wanted to move ahead with a business they have started within the county during the last 12 months.

After 240 businesses expressed an interest, more than 100 went on to attend one of the Ignite Experience business start-up workshops this summer, organised and delivered by Oxford Innovation, and 56 official entries were then submitted.

The judges – a panel of more than 20 experienced business leaders in Cornwall chaired by John Stewart of World’s Apart – narrowed these down to the shortlist of eight, who have been working to refine their business plan ahead of the final.

The eight finalists who will be pitching to win are:

  • ISO Spaces A business idea by Truro-based Ben Treleaven and Greg Curtis to transform recycled shipping containers into modular buildings and pop-up units.
  • Roseland Technologies A water treatment company founded in January 2013 by Katy Bray and her father from St Mawes.
  • Beach Buddy A smartphone application to guide beach users in Cornwall to their ideal beach, designed by Nigel Pengelly and Todd Barden from Penzance.
  • Cornish Gouda A Dutch family-run business based in Lanreath and led by Giel Spierings which produces a variety of handcrafted cheeses and wants to expand.
  • Cornish Masonry Stoves A company based near Bodmin launched by Guy Nott-Bower which manufactures and sells innovative wood-burning masonry stoves.
  • Visit Football An idea for an online travel company by Falmouth-based Lewis Youngson and Hannah Backhouse to operate football-themed package tours.
  • Deli-pops A business run by St Agnes couple Victoria and Joseph Waters manufacturing and selling gourmet ice lollies.
  • Kernow Black A business idea by Peter Hardy from St Buryan near Penzance, to launch a new company producing and selling eco-friendly soil improvement products.

Ignite 2013 is being generously supported by sponsors including: Foot Anstey, Francis Clark, Jarrang (MailAway), Pirate FM, Sideways, Creative Edge, Stranger Collective, PFA Research, Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, The Vine, DCA Public Relations, Tremough Innovation Centre, Pool Innovation Centre, 3 White Hats, Business Cornwall, Tamar HR, Federation of Small Businesses, St Austell Printing Company, UKNetweb, Buff Industrial Design, NJ Akers, Export Cornwall and 3B International.

To register an interest in taking part in Ignite 2014, click here.

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