9th March 2013. 9.00 am. 12 of us rocked up too the front doors of Innovation Warehouse. Folks from YHP, Brightside & Deloitte all raring to go. 1 hour till the flood of attendees arrive looking for business plan advice, idea's in hand (or head) all looking to apply for a 'Startup Loan'.
The tables are set, the chairs are arranged, banners up and coffees in hand. Let the day begin!
Despite a few lost souls wondering around Smithfield Market, people arrived on time and the show could get under way at the wonderful venue that is Innovation Warehouse. Very apt for what we were doing.
Our Deloitte representatives Rich and Aran start the business plan workshops with a little ice breaker. With teams form, each table had an object, a random object, bought in by the Brightside team, in which attendees had to create a business idea around. There where all sorts from smart household robots and landmark tour experiences to novelty sex toys, this bunch were certainly creative!
After lunch we were delightfully entertained by Julian Hall, serial entrepreneur and author. Then everyone, heads full of knowledge and inspiration got down to the task of filling in there Startup Loan applications. One to one sessions were available to all to get some last minute feedback before aplications were handed in.
At this point a decision panel of 10, made up of me & Joseph representing YHP, Rich & Arun from Deloitte, some of the brightside crew and Julian hall, were locked in the board room to meticulously go over the applications and reach a decision which could kickstart the entrepreneurial careers of many. It was a great responsibility.
After a few hours, we were done. Attendees were enjoying beers and networking while they waited for a decision.
14 people recieved a Startup Loan that day. With amounts varying between £2,500 and £10,000, we approved just over £100,000. £101,000 to be exact.
Here's what some of them had to say:
‘The whole day was great, especially finding out about costing out and financial forecasting. It was amazing to find out that we had got our loan, because it felt like we had really achieved something by the end of the day.’ Josy
‘It was really good to meet other people starting up their own business, work together and share ideas because none of my friends are doing it and it can be quite isolating.’ Rosie
‘The Deloitte workshops and talking through my business plan in the one-to-one sessions were really useful. Julian Hall’s talk was inspirational.’ Ben
‘The event was superb, a really good insight into business planning, the how's, why's, do's and don'ts. Everyone involved was friendly and helpful, along with being filled with useful ideas and knowledge, not to mention the on-going support from Brightside, YHP and your own mentor! I cannot thank everyone involved enough! I'd highly recommend it to any 18-30 year old looking to start a business. The loan that I've secured will help on so many levels and will allow me to reach and exceed my original targets, by being able to promote my business more widely, along with attending events that before could have stretched my budget!’ Dean
We won't just leave them their though. Our partners & Startup Loan delivery partners Brightside will be matching up loan recievers with mentors so that they have the best chance of making their business ideas a succesful reality!
Some pics from the day by Teresa Madeline - www.teresamadeline.com.