Meet previous Pioneers
Read how Pioneers reached new heights and continue to innovate in their fields.
Gemma & Terry Streather
Established in 2012 Oakwood Training provides businesses with advice and support on the personal safety and positive mental health of their staff.
“We were delighted and honoured to win the award. The continued support from the Pioneer Programme experts and access to office space at the Innovation Centre will be hugely beneficial to us as we continue to grow the business, develop online products and expand into exciting new sectors.”
Find out more at oakwoodtraining.co.uk
A company that produces 25-stone mannequins which will be used to train emergency personnel and healthcare workers to safely lift obese people has won the 2015 Spark Business competition.
The judges commended the innovative business idea for its growth potential and for addressing issues around a global health problem. Many people in their working lives are required to lift or manoeuvre people who are suffering from obesity & incorrectly handling can result in musculoskeletal injuries to the handler or subject.
“Winning the Spark competition endorses my idea as a viable business model. Having not run my own business before, there was always a doubt in the back of my mind, but winning this gives me the confidence to take my idea on to the next level. It really is the cherry on the cake.”
Elite Scooters is a premium freestyle scooter brand and as a professional scooter rider, Will’s business idea was born out of his frustration with the quality of scooter components. Since becoming a Pioneer, Will now has his own factory, international distribution and has started two other businesses in the same market. With plans to set up his own distribution company the future is looking extremely bright.
“The ongoing support from Pioneer 10 has been amazing. I have been surrounded by experts who have strength in areas that I have no experience in, and this has allowed me to accelerate the growth of my business. There is no way the business would be where it is today without the support of Pioneer 10.”
Jude Kenny and Stacey Barthorpe
The business had plateaued so we were looking for help with the next step forward. We needed some expertise and it had to be impartial. That’s why we entered the Spark competition.
“The benefits of winning have been great. We’ve been introduced to people with expertise, for example a marketing professional who has advised on e-commerce and email marketing. We didn’t have the time look for this expertise, let alone build relationships. It’s a great shortcut to networking! We will also get assistance with business finances and sales forecasting. This will let us keep a firmer grip on where we are and help us to put new commercial processes in place. This kind of initiative is worth doing. It makes you stop and think about your business. It forces you to take time to plan. It’s a focussing exercise that’s ideal for any size of business. Winning is an extra bonus.”
Scribblar is an online whiteboard and tutoring platform that allows tutors, schools and universities to collaborate and tutor online. Stefan has been working with the Pioneer 10 team for over 2 years and since gaining this support has been able to invest in product development and expand his target market.
“Although I run a business, I did not really see myself as a business person. I don’t necessarily ask myself the right questions, and working on your own is quite hard sometimes as you don’t challenge yourself enough. The Pioneer 10 team really made me look at the business from a different perspective and clearly identify the core areas where the business could grow.”