RCH triumphs at Ignite 2012


The Ignite 2012 Grand Final at Heartlands, Pool has been won by Chris Hassall and Russ Henman from RCH Marine Renewables.

Russ Henman (l) and Chris Hassall of RCH Marine Renewables

Ignite is Cornwall’s business planning competition delivered by Oxford Innovation as part of its High Growth Coaching Programme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (2007 to 2013).

RCH Marine Renewables is developing sustainable freshwater solutions for coastal areas using ocean wave power. The entrepreneurs won a prize fund worth £100k to drive their fledgling business forward.

The shortlisted businesses each pitched live to the judges throughout the final day and were later invited on stage to answer questions in front of an audience of guests from Cornwall’s thriving business community.

Noodle Live and The Cornish Ceramic Masonry Stove Company were announced as runners up – each winning approximately £5k worth of business support from the Ignite sponsors.

Hassall and Henman have seen firsthand the water related health problems of people across the world. When on a visit to Mozambique, Hassall saw children with cataracts contracted by drinking unsafe water. The lack of access to drinking water inspired them to look for a solution that started a journey that lead to working together and to the Ignite 2012 competition.

Hassall said: “The Ignite process has been intense. Intense in a positive way. We’ve had to refine our idea, work on the business plan and look at the financials and how they stack up. There have been some real challenges and many sleepless nights, but to see where we have got to now – winning Ignite – it’s extremely gratifying.”

Chair of judges, John Stewart from Worlds Apart, commented: “It was a totally inspiring evening. The thing that really impressed me was the variety of ideas that have been submitted. It was difficult to decide on the final winner but the winning business idea from RCH Marine Renewables really struck us as something that could ultimately be world changing.”

Budding entrepreneurs can now register their interest for Ignite 2013 by visiting www.ignitecornwall.com