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Spark Harborough District Winners Revealed

Spark Harborough District Winners

Last Thursday Harborough Innovation Centre played host to the Grand Finale of the Spark Harborough District, Business Ideas Competition. This year’s competition has been the most successful yet with a record number of entries spanning a wide range of industries. In addition to this the standard of these entries has been incredibly high, making the Judging process even more time consuming and difficult.

During the Finale all contestants showed a high level of professionalism and it was clear that their pitching sessions with Angels Den’s, Russell Copley, had helped them streamline their pitches. After the Judges questions traditionally over ran the Judges retired to discuss who they felt should be crowned this year’s winners.

Finally they returned after a lengthy debate and proudly revealed this year’s winners as Molly Mae and L is for Learning.

•Best Business Growth Idea – Winner – Molly Mae creates innovative greeting cards, stationery and gifts, all featuring well-considered wording and unique concepts. The products are created from original images, made from hand drawings and incorporate quirky patterns in contemporary colours. Unusually, the greetings cards address a broader range of titles often overlooked by conventional companies, such as adoption. The owners wish to expand the personalised card and gift range as well as increase export sales.

•Best New Business Idea – Winner – L is for Learning proposes to offer primary school practitioners training and resources to help them teach Modern foreign languages. In addition to training in schools and at conference centres to build the confidence of teachers to deliver the subject, the business would sell resources directly from its website. These would include lesson plans and step-by-step guidance for non-specialist practitioners. Languages are now compulsory from the ages of 7 to 11 in primary schools.

Both entries proved to the judges that they had a clear, scalable business plan, strategy, and in-depth knowledge of their industry. The judges were also impressed by both entries presentation style and thought they delivered answers that were both knowledgeable and well researched.

This year’s runners up were Bellarose Bootique and Botanical Brands Ltd who just missed out on the prize package worth a total of £40,000.

Everyone at Spark would like to thank all our Finalists (Environmental Energies, Molly Mae Ltd, edibLE16 Ltd, Botanical Brands Ltd, Outram’s Ltd, Marina B Designs, L is for Learning, Patris Food and Bellarose Bootique) , Sponsors (Oxford Innovation, One Stop IP, Summerfield Browne Limited , Stocks Design, Market Harborough Building Society, May Marketing, East Midlands Chamber, Harborough Mail and Grange Accounting), Judges, Harborough District Council and the team at Harborough Innovation Centre for hosting the Finale.

For more information on Spark Harborough District and the business support on offer head to www.sparkharborough.com