Sign up for Ignite Experience


Anyone with a great idea for a new business still has time to sign up for the Ignite Experience to help them get their new venture off the ground.

The Ignite 2013 business start-up competition offers the chance to benefit from valuable support to either launch a brand new business in Cornwall, or move ahead with a business started during the last 12 months (to September 2013).

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. This year Ignite’s lead sponsor is regional law firm Foot Anstey.

L-R: Alan Street (Ignite project manager and Oxford Innovation coach), Russ Henman (co-owner of RCH Marine Renewables) and Gavin Poole (Foot Anstey corporate partner)
L-R: Alan Street (Ignite project manager and Oxford Innovation coach), Russ Henman (co-owner of RCH Marine Renewables) and Gavin Poole (Foot Anstey corporate partner)

Start-up businesses can register to take part by visiting the Ignite website, then take part in The Ignite Experience ¬- a series of two day fully-funded business start-up workshops held at venues across Cornwall. They offer invaluable business start-up advice, together with an insight into what the Ignite judges will be looking for and how to develop a compelling three-minute pitch.

After two successful workshops held last month, the remaining two workshops are taking place at Kingsley Village on August 21 and 22, and Threthorne Golf Club in Launceston on August 28 and 29.

Ignite project manager and Oxford Innovation coach Alan Street said: “We’re keen to ensure anyone with a great business idea signs up to register their interest at so they can join one of the remaining workshops.

“The first two workshops in Truro and Penryn proved very popular, with those taking part said they found the interactive process incredibly helpful, as well as good fun. Regardless of whether you go on to win Ignite, we know from previous attendees that simply attending the workshops gives a real boost to a fledgling business.”

After completing a workshop, entrants submit a three-minute video pitch by September 17, from which finalists are shortlisted and announced in October. The finalists then work closely with Oxford Innovation’s coaches, refining their business plans, before pitching their propositions to the Ignite 2013 judging panel in November when a winner is chosen.

The Ignite 2013 winner will walk away with the £120k prize package, which includes £25k in cash, and a comprehensive package of support from well-established Cornish companies who contribute everything a fledging business needs to get off the ground, from product and web site design, brand development, PR and e-mail services, logistics to legal and accountancy advice.

Chris Hassall and Russ Henman won Ignite 2012 after impressing judges with their concept to harness the power of the ocean to produce fresh, clean drinking water for communities in the developing world.

Hassall said: “Ignite is a fantastic opportunity, and helped us enormously to get our business started. We were delighted to win but just taking part in the process itself and going to the workshops gave us invaluable help in developing our business plan and formulating our ideas.”

Ignite 2013 is being supported by: Foot Anstey, Business Cornwall magazine, 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, Tamar HR, Federation of Small Businesses, St Austell Printing Company, UKNetweb, Buff Industrial Design, NJ Akers, Export Cornwall and 3B International.

 Subscribe to the Business Cornwall magazine iPad app