Firms taking part in the Entrepreneurial Spark accelerator programme from its Newcastle base enjoyed a series of award wins totalling £24,000 as the first round of support draws to a close.
The Entrepreneuring Awards, hosted by Entrepreneurial Spark Powered by NatWest, took place at Entrepreneurial Spark’s Newcastle Hatchery within the NatWest office on Newcastle Quayside.
Mark Squires, the ex-CEO of Benfield Motors joined the entrepreneurs to mark their successes over the past six months, sharing invaluable business expertise and highlighting the importance of keeping a strong #GoDo mindset during their entrepreneurial journey.
He described his difficulty getting a word in sideways as a quiet boss in a business full of extroverts.
“The best way to be motivated yourself is to be together with other people who feel and act the same way,” he told the audience as he praised the programme.
“It can be a very lonesome place,” he conceded, “and this programme offers a range of financial and practical support but more importantly, a group of peers. “
The awards recognise and celebrate the hard work and determination of all Entrepreneurial Spark’s entrepreneurs across the country with the following prizes:
Entrepreneur of the Moment
The main award of the evening, Entrepreneur of the Moment was awarded to an entrepreneur who Entrepreneurial Spark believes has built a viable new product which has the potential to gain international recognition. They have shown sheer determination, dedication and an ability for identifying and capitalising on small opportunities that can return big results.
The winner who secured £7,000 on the night was Peter Southern, founder of Clockwork Espresso, the home of PUSH, the world’s most precise coffee tamper, for accelerating his business now selling products in 36 countries since starting in April 2016.
The Acceler8 award recognises the businesses that have made significant progress in the last six months by moving out of their comfort zones to make the most of every opportunity.
Matt Goodman, founder of The Futsal Partnership, a business established to increase the likelihood of sport participation in adults walked away with £4,000 after significantly growing business turnover through the sale of regional franchises and expansion into new territories.
Richard Lee, founder of Stream Go, who specialise in managed webcasts and webinars for companies, they take the pain and pressure of running online events for businesses, also secured a prize of £4,000.
The #GoDo prize is awarded to the entrepreneurs who take action, seek challenges and make every day count, delivering impressive results using a #GoDo mindset.
Two entrepreneurs fended off strong competition to be awarded the prize, and £3,000 each: Lizzy Hodcroft, founder of The Sweet Beet, a street food company with a Texan flair, and Helena Sansum, founder of Life Saving Training, which provides first aid and health and safety training.
Chiclet’s Choice award
The Chiclet’s Choice award, nominated by fellow entrepreneurs, recognises the Chiclet who demonstrates the greatest degree of return and support within their Hatchery.
Grant Thompson, founder of Pop the Fizz, an online portal for booking and gathering information on organising social events, was selected by his fellow entrepreneurs to receive the £1,000 prize for sharing his valuable contacts in the Hatchery and giving endless sales advice.
On the night eight entrepreneurs also took to the stage to battle it out at the Entrepreneuring Awards pitching competition delivering a 60 second pitch to try and win £1,000 for their business. Awards went to Parakeat, and to Monumental PR.