The sky’s the limit for South West start-up businesses…

In September and October, start-up businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have the opportunity to attend a fully funded two-day workshop that could change their fortunes forever.

The Breakthrough workshops, which will take place in Redruth and Newquay, are available to start-up owners who have been trading for less than 12 months. They’ll have the opportunity to learn more about what makes a successful long-term business and get constructive feedback from business coaches with more than 30 years of experience.

Over the past two years the Breakthrough workshops have helped more than 850 businesses get on track, providing them with support to assist in achieving their goals.

Breakthrough is delivered by Oxford Innovation in partnership with Unlocking Potential and funded by the European Regional Development Fund – meaning support is available at no cost to qualifying businesses.

Case study: Bad Wolf Horizon

One local entrepreneur who is flourishing after taking part in the Breakthrough programme is Tom Wadsworth of aerial photography and film production specialist, Bad Wolf Horizon. Tom attended one of the workshops and hasn’t looked back since. Following the workshop, Tom has received on-going support from Breakthrough via one-to-one coaching from Oxford Innovation coach Lloyd Brina.

“Breakthrough has been invaluable to me as somebody entering the business world for the first time. The workshops and coaching have totally opened my eyes to what is needed and what is achievable as a business start-up,” said Tom Wadsworth.

Tom, aged 23, lives in Cornwall and is a graduate from Loughborough University, where he studied Product Design and Technology.

He saw a gap in the film and photography market, which is how Bad Wolf Horizon was born. He recognised that drones where becoming more popular and with his background in technology, which included creative video production, Tom thought merging the two would be a potential business avenue. The company is producing promotional material for a variety of people from the tourism industry to hoteliers and architects in the UK and abroad.

Tom added: “Nowadays anyone can call themselves a drone operator but where the niche lies is how you inventively use the technology to attract new clients.  We have introduced the idea of drone live streaming, which has opened even more doors for us.

“This is where the advice from Breakthrough was priceless as they gave pointers on brand creation, marketing and business direction. Lloyd played devil’s advocate and tried to provide guidance looking at things from both sides of the coin. It’s surprising how putting your ideas down onto paper and talking them through can make a big difference.

“My advice to anyone looking to attend the workshops is try it! Go along as the people are amazing and willing to help you proceed with your business idea.”  

Lloyd Brina, Oxford Innovation Business Coach, said: “It’s always wonderful to work with people looking to start up a new business, especially to witness their hunger, enthusiasm and lightbulb moments.”

Lloyd continued: “This was definitely the case with Tom. He was willing to take on board the advice and be open minded with what he could achieve with the coaching. He was able to take a step back and see the bigger picture. This allowed him to explore things like his customer base, new services, the use of current technology and do any necessary troubleshooting. Tom is very motivated and open to tackle any challenges that a new business is likely to face.

“Each workshop can be different as different individuals can bring along varying ideas, which produces an assortment of issues to address. We try to cover every eventuality and provide a variety of coaching methods to meet the needs of the person and their business model.  Breakthrough is aimed at helping to nurture and craft the business ideas of the future and channel the enthusiasm of everyone involved.”

The next Breakthrough workshops will be taking place on the following dates / locations (doors open at 9am, starting at 9.30am and finishing at 4.30pm):

6th and 7th Sept: Oxford Innovation office, Business Gateway Centre, Redruth

10th and 11th Sept: Oxford Innovation office, Business Gateway Centre, Redruth

1st and 2nd Oct: Bedruthan Hotel, Newquay

To register your interest, fill in the online form at www.breakthroughcornwall.co.uk/how-to-apply  or call 0845 600 3660.

Find out more about Bad Wolf Horizon at www.badwolfhorizon.com