Enterprising Women

Posted: 20/05/2012

Ignite Your Bright Idea in 2012

Ignite; Cornwall's business planning competition managed by Oxford Innovation is back for 2012.

Launched in April, this year's competition aims to find the best entrepreneurial talent that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has to offer. The competition is open to anyone with a bright idea hoping to start a business in Cornwall or who has done so in the last 12 months. The competition offers the chance to win a share of a support package worth over 100k, including everything a fledgling business needs in its first 12 months, from brand development and marketing to legal and accountancy advice.

In addition to the chance of winning, anyone entering Ignite in 2012 will benefit from The Ignite Experience, focused Start Up business workshops that will run in various venues across the county from May until August giving everyone taking part an invaluable boost of business advice from the team of experts at Oxford Innovation.

Ignite Coordinator Charlotte Green, commented:

"We're inviting anyone with a great business idea to register their interest at www.ignitecornwall.com when they will be invited to a Person, Proposition, Planning and Pitch Workshop where our team will help plan how to take their idea forward including helping them develop a three minute pitch of their business proposition."

Previous winner Rokka Play was started by two mums - Vanessa Harris and Sam Spake - with a mutual passion for traditional play. The idea came as a result of watching how their children naturally made dens and cubbyholes out of whatever they could find. The pair scoured the toy market looking for a large, sustainable multi-purpose toy which would allow their children's imaginations to run wild, but instead found a gap in the market. In 2010, when the first Rokka toy was still a prototype taking shape in the garden shed, the two mums heard about Ignite, entered the Rokka concept and won the competition.

Co-founder Sam Spake commented:

"As soon as we heard about Ignite we knew we had to enter and the process was incredibly useful for us. Winning Ignite allowed us to take Rokka Play to market very quickly - in just six months - and has given us an invaluable support network of expertise. But even if we hadn't won, the advice and encouragement we received going through the Ignite process meant that we would still have launched Rokka Play - it just might have taken us a little longer!"

Since winning Ignite in 2010 Rokka Play has launched a number of products and grown its distribution network which now includes Hamleys, one of the world's largest toy shops.