£100k Ignite competition launched


Cornwall’s biggest business plan competition has launched for 2011, with a prize value of more than £100k.

Ignite, which first took place last year, is open to any Cornish business looking to grow and develop their business or business idea.

Ignite 2011 Sponsors (L-R): Richard Scutt (Pool Innovation Centre), Bernard Curren (Pool Innovation Centre), Emma Yates (Oxford Innovation), Beverley Warne (Pirate FM), Toni Eyriey (Business Cornwall), Richard Gardiner (Foot Anstey), Amy Smith (Winter Rule), Dave Rickett (Creative Edge), David Bullen (Winter Rule), Dan Hinchcliffe (Net Insight)

Companies are invited to visit www.ignitecornwall.com to find out how to enter and details of the prize, which includes up to a £25k European grant from organiser Oxford Innovation for the winning business.

Businesses interested in entering the competition can submit their business plans anytime from now until March 31. To help businesses which have not developed a business plan, Oxford Innovation will be holding a number of Winter Training Camps to give business owners an insight into a range of specific business planning topics, as well as providing practical guidance on how to write and develop a business plan.

The 2011 Winter Training Camp consists of four interactive half-day workshops taking place on January 18 and 25 at Pool Innovation Centre. The sessions will cover four key areas of business planning: Structuring a Business Plan; How To Reach Your Target Market; Preparing Financial Forecasts; and Risk Assessment for Your Business Plan.

Last year Ignite received 59 entries from businesses from across the county, with educational wooden toy company Rokka Play ultimately running out the winner.

The judges last year were looking to identify innovative ideas that have the potential to be turned into successful ventures, led by people who could become the region’s business leaders of the future. This year they will be hoping for more of the same and organisers have secured a number of high profile supporters to create the overall prize.

Ignite 2011 prize fund includes:

  • Up to £25k European cash grant from Oxford Innovation
  • Radio marketing campaign through Pirate FM
  • Business and finance advice from Winter Rule
  • Legal advice from Foot Anstey Solicitors
  • Brand, design or web services with Creative Edge
  • Website design, development, e-commerce and conversion rate optimisation services through Net Insight
  • One year’s free office space in the Formation Zone at Pool Innovation Centre
  • Special feature on the winner in Business Cornwall magazine
  • Human resources support from Tamar HR

Oxford Innovation’s competition manager, Leo Dunne, said: “Last year was the first time a competition like this has taken place in Cornwall and we were astounded by the level of interest and the calibre of entries. Our judges had a tough time whittling down the 59 entries to ten finalists and I expect this year to be just as difficult.”