20th February 2006




Twenty would-be entrepreneurs have their sights set on a prize worth £10,000 after clearing the first hurdle in a competition organised by the business incubation centre Sparkhouse Studios.


The budding businessmen and women paid a visit to Sparkhouse Studios on Thursday to find out more about their progress in the Business Ignition Competition.


The contest, sponsored by Streets Chartered Accountants and Sill & Betteridge Solicitors, seeks the best business ideas and attracted 15 applications from young entrepreneurs.


The eventual winners will receive a prize worth up to £10,000 – a combination of cash, office space, legal consultancy, financial consultancy and business mentoring.


The competition aims to identify the best raw ideas rather than the best produced business plans, although the three-stage entry process will help entrepreneurs develop their idea with the support of the Sparkhouse Studios team.


The deadline for entries was at the end of last week and 15 business ideas were represented at the get-together at Sparkhouse Studios.


Those who attended have passed the first filter of applications and will now complete a number of more detailed questions from which the judges will shortlist three or four ideas to present to a panel in early June.


"Streets are delighted to be involved with and support the Business Ignition Competition which  truly stimulates the minds and vision of would-be entrepreneurs,” said James Pinchbeck, Director of Marketing at Streets Chartered Accountants.


“We believe that the format devised for the competition will benefit all entrants, rather than just the winner, with a programme aimed at helping develop ideas and advice on issues affecting start-up."


Andrew Payne, Head of the Commercial Department at Sills & Betteridge, said: “This competition is an exciting project and we are really pleased to be involved. Over the years we have worked with many start-up businesses which have grown into very substantial concerns.  We look forward to working with Sparkhouse Studios to help support the development of these entrepreneurs.”


For more information contact:

Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

01522 886042                         jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk