Third business accelerator kicks off with two-day entrepreneur boot camp

The third Spark Up programme will welcome a record number of entrepreneurs at a two-day long boot camp designed to inspire and motivate business growth in the Liverpool city region.

A total of forty new businesses will join Liverpool Chamber of Commerce and Natwest’s free business accelerator, Spark Up, as it launches its new look 12 week-long programme on October 1st

They will take part in a two day boot camp, offering an introduction to key business themes, as well as workshops, seminars and master classes led by Spark Up’s resident experts and mentors.

Spark Up benefits from a network of more than 50 Liverpool-based business leaders and experts, who give their time to develop the city’s newest entrepreneurial talents.

The third programme will also see the return of five of this year’s previous entrepreneurs who will undertake a series of ‘incubator’ sessions. These will focus directly on business growth and development, and will be tailored towards the individual needs of each business.

Returning businesses include, Just Juices, Franklin Energy, Parent Apps, Triketastic and Unit 3 Design Studio.

To date, Spark Up has generated more than £400,000 worth of investment opportunities, created 45 new jobs locally and increased collective turnover by 163%.

Founder Jenny Stewart hopes this latest programme, will help push investment levels over the half a million pound mark.

She said:

“Yet again I am astounded by the volume, diversity and quality of the businesses coming forward to take part in Spark Up. Each and every one of them has demonstrated an entrepreneurial spark and a determination to drive their business, no matter what that business is, to success.

“The fact that we are about to enter our third programme in just as many years, demonstrates the huge potential of Liverpool’s start-up talent and proves that as a city we really are leading the way in encouraging a entrepreneurship and business growth.

“This time round our programme is slightly different. It’s shorter for a start, but it also offers a more intensive format, with a key focus on developing a working and scalable business model.

“I look forward to welcoming all forty of our new entrepreneurs, as well as some familiar faces and hope they are ready to take on the challenges and opportunities that Spark Up will provide for them.”

The two day long boot camp also marks the opening of applications for the next Spark up programme, which will begin in January 2016.

More than 200 businesses have applied for Spark Up to date. Places on the programme are open to both would-be entrepreneurs, armed with an initial business idea, and owners of existing businesses who have been trading for up to two years and are ambitious to grow.

Entrepreneurs, who demonstrated an ability to grow through ambition and investment opportunities, as well as a strong desire to participate in the programme, were chosen to join the third programme.

This latest intake includes a diverse range of businesses, from those in retail and hospitality, those in the creative and media industries, as well as several social enterprise projects.

Lucy Wager founder of dessert range Pudology will join this year’s programme, to help grow her business and help her reach a wider high street consumer market.

The 33 year old from Cheshire founded the business in 2012 after discovering she had intolerance to dairy and egg products. Realising there was little option for tasty treats for people like her, she set about creating her own dessert recipes free from gluten, dairy, eggs and nuts and Pudology was formed.

With the help of family members and other ‘pudologists’ she now sell as range of five different products, including yoghurts and desserts. Baking has now moved from the family kitchen to a small production facility in South Wales and to date she has sold 300,000 desserts to customers all over the UK.

Lucy sad:

“Being an entrepreneur and owning my own business has been a new challenge for me and one which I have really enjoyed so far. Pudology has been trading for three years now and I am hoping that Spark Up will help me take the business to a new level and give me the tools I need to push it to its fullest possible potential.”

The Spark Up programme is inspired by the MassChallenge project in the American city of Boston. It includes free mentoring, coaching, office space and IT facilities. Additional support for the programme is provided by partners, Glow New Media, The BIG Partnership and Glow New Media.

Applications for January’s programme can be made via the Spark Up website: and entries close in November.

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