Ely businessman runner-up in 'Dragons Den' style contest

BIPC Jumpstart finalists were judged by four business leaders

BIPC Jumpstart finalists were judged by (l-r) Julie Deane CBE (Founder and Chief Executive of The Cambridge Satchel Company), Vic Annells (Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce), Danielle Bridge (Founder and Chief Executive of ABC Life Support) and Alex Hughes (Founder of Shift Momentum and Shifties) - Credit: BIPC

An Ely businessman was a runner-up in a competition in which four Cambridgeshire enterprises each received £5,000 to support growth.  

Phil Carter of Bluewindow Training Ltd narrowly missed one of the cash sums available when he took part in a live final pitching event on February 28, 

Mr Carter explained that Bluewindow Training Ltd will provide knowledge and well-being training for company employees, charities and voluntary groups. 

He said his training would be for those affected by issues of mental capacity, mental health, long and short-term cognitive conditions and related adult safeguarding concerns. 

“The long-term effects upon mental health, combined with the progression of related diseases, such as dementia, continue to put strain upon an already overtaxed health and social care system,” he said. 

Despite his pitch The Business & IP Centre Cambridgeshire & Peterborough confirmed he was not one of the four winners of the BIPC Jumpstart programme. 

Mr Carter was one of eight shortlisted businesses were invited to pitch to a panel of business leader judges, with four winners each awarded £5k of funding and additional prizes to support their business growth. 

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The BIPC Jumpstart winners are: 

● Annika Bennett, Acben Music - Cambridge 

● Amy Corney, Acorn Flower Farm - Ramsey 

● Lisa Kent, REUSE2GO - Cambridge 

● Rebekah Watson, Rebekah Daven Photography - Wyton 

As the creator of Acben Music, Cambridge’s Annika Bennett is set to launch a unique online education platform for instrument tuition; with her grant enabling her to develop a prototype of the site. 

As the driving force behind Acorn Flower Farm in Ramsey, Amy Corney has cultivated a cut flower farm that sells seasonal and sustainable flowers and foliage directly to customers and florists.  

With a grant now confirmed, Amy can buy a commercial polytunnel for her farm. 

Cambridge based REUSE2GO, led by Lisa Kent and co-Founder Luisa is a digital “return and reuse” logistics system for takeaway food and drink containers; with grant support now in place for software development, legal, and operational costs. 

Four Cambridgeshire start-up businesses have been awarded grant funding

Four Cambridgeshire start-up businesses have been awarded grant funding in the BIPC Jumpstart programme - Credit: BIPC

The lifestyle portrait photography business Rebekah Daven Photography owned and operated by Rebekah Watson specialises in equestrian images showcasing the relationship between a horse and its rider.  

Start-up equipment, marketing, and insurances are all now ensured thanks to the BIPC Jumpstart grant. 

Also pitching on the day, and confirmed as runners up were: 

● Verity Lott, Healthy Marketing Consultancy Service – Peterborough 

● Christopher Ord, SWIM – Hampton, Peterborough 

● Emma Peters, GLO – St Neots 

Four pitch judges scored each shortlisted applicant on the merit of their pitch, before confirming the final 2022 BIPC Jumpstart grant recipients. 

The BIPC Jumpstart pitch judges were: 

● Julie Deane CBE – Founder and Chief Executive of The Cambridge Satchel Company 

● Vic Annells – Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce 

● Danielle Bridge – Founder and Chief Executive of ABC Life Support 

● Alex Hughes – Founder of Shift Momentum and Shifties 

Julie Deane, said: “It was an absolute honour for my fellow judges and I to meet such an array of businesses at the beginning of their start up journey.  

“Each business owner delivered their pitch with real passion; and the commitment and determination to succeed was clear to see.” 

A large number of BIPC Jumpstart applications were initially received, collectively requesting over £200,000 worth of grant support.  

The final shortlist of eight businesses was chosen by three BIPC Jumpstart consultants, based on strict scoring criteria.  

These consultants – Cllr Lis Every (East Cambridgeshire), Tom Hennessey (Chief Executive of Opportunity Peterborough) and local restaurateur Andy Maul (Bygones in Wisbech) – then worked with each business in the run up to the live event, to ensure they were pitch ready. 

The BIPC Jumpstart programme was developed by The Business & IP Centre Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, part of Cambridgeshire Libraries.  

The programme was launched in November 2021 – offering grants, resources and support designed to help start-up businesses get set and grow.  

The Business & IP Centre Cambridgeshire & Peterborough provides free and low-cost business support and advice to start-up business owners, entrepreneurs, and inventors.