Pioneer 10 crowns Nottinghamshire’s top business pioneers

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Two businesses from Nottinghamshire have been crowned “champions of innovation” at a prestigious county-wide awards ceremony.

Red Fox ID and Fosse Cashflow Solutions were chosen as the two leading pioneering companies following a ten month support programme, which has helped more than 130 businesses across the county.

Pioneer 10 Notts was designed for entrepreneurs and business owners who are ambitious to grow. The programme provides the support and recognition needed to accelerate and grow business throughout Nottinghamshire. Managed by Oxford Innovation, this annual programme was hosted across the three Nottinghamshire Innovation Centres;Mansfield i-Centre, Newark Beacon and Worksop Turbine.

After a difficult shortlisting period, ten businesses were chosen to pitch at the grand final on Wednesday, 1st March. Hosted, at the Mansfield i-Centre, all 10 businesses were in the running to win one of two support packages worth £15,000.

Best Business Growth Pioneer, Darren Bungay, Head of Business Development at Stubton-based Red Fox ID, which develops sophisticated vehicle recognition technology for the toll road industry, said: “For a team that have historically developed a leading technology in this industry, we saw an opportunity to re-invent and update it, to address the challenges facing the 21st century road user charging industry.

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“We are a small regional business with big ideas. Now, with the support we'll receive from winning Pioneer 10, we are much better positioned to take on the challenges of this global marketplace. This means a huge amount for us.”

Best New Business Pioneer, Billie-Anne Warriner, founder of Fosse Cashflow Solutions – cashflow specialists which provide bespoke credit control services – collected the award on the first anniversary of her venture.

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She said: “It means everything to win. I have worked so hard, and the sacrifices I have had to make after having a baby seven months ago, I have had to give up a lot of my time with him to get the business to where it is, so this means a lot.”

All the shortlisted firms will now receive one-to-one coaching and guidance, opening up new commercial opportunities and boosting each business’s chance of success.

David Smith, Business Growth Director at Oxford Innovation, said: “Following months of help, support and shortlisting, Pioneer 10 came to a conclusion in dramatic style.

“It was amazing to hear about how people had built up businesses through passion and determination, while at the same time continually innovating to help turn their dreams into reality. Everybody on the night did excellently but Red Fox ID and Fosse Cashflow Solutions were our champions of innovation.”

Judge Peter Richardson, Chairman of D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “To me, what was most tangible was the inspiration and passion. Despite the challenges they each face, the programme has been a really worthwhile.”

Other finalists included; Co Fabrico Ltd, Balance: Wealth Planning Limited, CS Design Software, Smartersoft, The Coaching Company, i-Sourcer, Newark Hoverflights UK and Kraft Werks.

In addition to the business awards, since launching in May the Pioneer 10 has offered a free growth-coaching programme which includes; workshops, online tools and coaching support.

To find out more about this year’s programme, and future programmes in Nottinghamshire go to Pioneer10-notts.co.uk.  

Finalists revealed in quest for innovation champions

Finalists revealed in quest for innovation champions 

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The finalists in a programme to find Nottinghamshire’s leading business pioneers have been announced.

After months of submission ten local  businesses have been shortlisted to go head-to-head for the chance to win a support package worth £15,000.

All the shortlisted firms will now receive one-to-one coaching and guidance, opening up new commercial opportunities and boosting each business’s chances of success.

The Pioneer 10 programme, has been managed by Oxford Innovation, and hosted across the three Nottinghamshire Innovation Centres, Mansfield i-Centre, Newark Beacon and Worksop Turbine.

The shortlisted finalists and their companies are:

  • Os Morgan – Kraft Werks
  • Teri England – Red Fox ID
  • Irma Gilbert – Co Fabrico Ltd
  • Rebecca Aldridge – Balance: Wealth Planning Limited
  • Tim Calnan – CS Design Software
  • Paul Belshaw – Smartersoft
  • Steve Harrison – The Coaching Company
  • John Morley – i-Sourcer
  • Kiyth G Fotitt – Newark Hoverflights UK
  • Billie-Anne Warriner – Fosse Cashflow Solutions

In addition to the contest to find the 10 pioneers, the programme has also supported more than 130 businesses in the county since launching in May through a 100 per cent funded, free growth-coaching programme including workshops, online tools and support.

David Smith, Business Growth Director at Oxford Innovation, said: “The Pioneer 10 community has supported, fostered and encouraged growth through a comprehensive programme of support. All designed at furthering innovation and commercial success across Nottinghamshire.

“As part of the process, we asked for people to apply to become pioneers. The ten ideas with the most potential have now been selected to receive highly valuable one-to-one support from our experienced experts.

"We are looking forward to supporting and rewarding businesses that are innovating within their industries, and now have the tough task of selecting the top two.”

After further evaluation, two of the 10 pioneers will be selected by a panel of judges for a long term, high value, high impact business support package.

This year, choosing the final two is down to; Paul Stuart, Head of Enterprise at East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, Peter Richardson, Chair of D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and Steve Upcraft, Nottingham University’s lead on SME engagement.Julie Reader-Sullivan, of Newark & Sherwood District Council, Mark Mirfin, Managing Director of Love Your Skin, and Femi Ogunshakin, Director of Loftus Stowe Ltd also make up the judging panel..

The £15,000 support packages include one year of business coaching and office space from Oxford Innovation; a year’s membership with East Midlands Chamber of Commerce; a digital marketing package; legal guidance.; a social media consultation with professional digital headshots; a HR start-up package, and much more.

The two winning businesses will be announced at the grand finale event on Mansfield i-Centre on Wednesday, March 1.

For more information about Pioneer 10 Notts and to register for the grand final, visit: http://www.pioneer10-notts.com.