BQ National Entrepreneur Festival

Join us for the 'Steam Punk' themed BQ National Entrepreneur Festival 2017

Midlands entrepreneurs vie for top accolade

Five entrepreneurs from across the Midlands have made it to the final of the BQ Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year awards, which are being held as part of the inaugural BQ Festival this month.

BQ and Atom Bank are hosting the inaugural National Entrepreneur Festival at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle upon Tyne on 21 November 2017.

The festival will see the presenting of the Emerging Entrepreneur Awards, which will highlight the tenacity, creativity, innovation and determination of the nation’s entrepreneurs.

And remember, you can still get your tickets for the festival, here.

Here is the shortlist for the Midlands regional award, chosen by our panel of expert judges:


Simon Crowther – Flood Protection Solutions LTD

23-year-old Simon, founder and MD of Flood Protection Solutions, was voted as one of the top 19 Young Entrepreneurs to watch in 2016 by After his family home was flooded in 2007, the young entrepreneur scoured the flood defence market and came across a Canadian firm called Water-Gate. They purchased the company’s flood barrier and, during the next flood five years later, it saved the family home. Impressed by the product, Simon got in contact with the manufacturer and secured rights for sole distribution in the UK. His company is now five years old with a predicted turnover of £2.2m next year.


Paul Dillon - Ultimate Physio

After finishing his degree, Paul quickly set up his own physiotherapy clinic and began searching for clients from a variety of different areas. Though slow to gather momentum, he was determined to build up his customer base and make his business a success. Through a combination of volunteering work with local sports teams and a smart use of social media, he eventually built a strong foundation of clients to expand his business from. He has seen growth year on year and will have seen over 3,000 patients by the end of the year. Now he has ambitious plans to open up a second clinic.


John Loveday - Spearhead Compliance Training

After being injured in a bomb blast during a tour of Afghanistan, John returned home and was diagnosed with PTSD. As a veteran, he struggled to find employment upon his return so set up Spearhead eLearning, a company dedicated to providing skills training and certification. After making a loss during the first two years, Poundland Founder Steve Smith invested in the firm and the business accelerated. The company has now secured multi-million-pound contracts with some of the UK's largest organisations and helps homeless veterans get qualified for work, gets them gain employment and find a place to live.


Melissa Snover - Katjes Magic Candy Factory

New Yorker Melissa Snover founded her first company, Burton Financial, at the age of 23. It was a success and reached triple-figure growth in its first 3 years. In 2009 she turned to the confectionary industry and founded Goody Good Stuff, the world’s first all-natural vegan gummy candy. By the time she sold it to Cloetta PLC in 2014, she had developed a sales network of 30,000 sale points in more than 33 countries worldwide. Melissa had been frustrated in her previous company at not being able customize her confectionary, and so set about developing the world’s first 3D printer for candy. Katjes Magic Candy Factory only launched 12 months ago and her innovative 3D candy printers are already in retail outlets.


Revathi Timms - Avatar 3D

Revathi set up her business Avatar with a vision of manufacturing low-cost 3D printers to provide training & development in digital fabrication and create the next generation of engineers. Avatar 3D printer the "Ingenium’’, designed, engineered & manufactured in the UK, has been set up in several STEAM Centres supported by educational partners. Students, academic staff in the Midlands & International have benefited from training using this laboratory kit from concept idea through to product development. 


For more information on the event, click here.