Success for start-ups
A weekend-long event aimed at stimulating new start-ups in the city and the wider region has set one Bath entrepreneur on an exciting new path.
The Startup Weekend at Bath Innovation Centre earlier this month brought together aspiring entrepreneurs from across the country – with the aim of launching new businesses in only 54 hours.
Startup Weekend is a global network which has held more than 450 similar events across the world, but this was the first event of its type in the West Country.
Participants pitched their ideas on the opening evening with teams then forming around the leading ideas.
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And those involved in forming companies and organising the event have hailed it a big success.
Glenn Smith, 39, came up with the winning idea, which focuses on a new consumer-focused service for electricity customers.
Glenn, who lives in Bath, was partnered with attendees from Manchester, Abergavenny and London. So successful was their partnership that they did not get to bed on the Saturday until 5.30am.
The full details of the venture – provisionally called Energy Slash – are under wraps as Glenn and his team fine tune branding and legal issues
But his enthusiasm for the Startup Weekend is clear.
"The amount we actually achieved over the weekend was amazing," said Glenn.
"We had some great interaction together – they are all very keen lads. We had some mentors to give us a steer and there were some great people there. There was a lot of input from people that helped us get it off the ground.
"You can be surrounded by some negativity when coming up with ideas for a new business, but it was all positive, positive, positive.
"The overall concept of Startup Weekend is great."
The Startup Weekend was financially backed by Bath and North East Somerset Council, Bath Ventures and Bath Spa University.
Councillor Cherry Beath, B&NES's cabinet member for sustainable development, wants to bring the event back to the city next year.
"The council was pleased to sponsor this innovative event, encouraging business start-ups and a first in Bath," she said.
"There was a real buzz at the weekend, with groups getting ideas and teams together, some of them working through the night, and the excellent mentors throwing themselves into the process as well.
"The judging was a tough call in the face of the talent and energy of ideas produced, but we managed to narrow it down to a few outstanding teams.
"I have no doubts the winner, Energy Slash, a local team, will go on to do very well with their winning idea.
"I commend Charles Grimsdale, of Eden Ventures in Bath, for his active input and sponsoring the winning team awards and I encourage the wider business community to support and help bring this initiative back again next year."