VIDEO: Read and watch more from the EDP’s Local Business Accelerator’s as they get set for the Dragon’s Den

PUBLISHED: 06:30 15 January 2013 | UPDATED: 10:08 15 January 2013

local business accelerators

local business accelerators


The finalists of the EDP Local Business Accelerators competition are putting the finishing touches to their presentations as they bid to win a year’s worth of advertising support from their local newspaper and the chance to win a national prize including mentoring from Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden.

The LBA finalists

Anglia Business cleaning

Founder Emma Bussey is hoping that commercial cleaning services will be as easy as ‘ABC’ for her business. Formed in 2008, the Norwich-based business has been built up by word of mouth, but she said that winning the LBA competition would help take the firm which employs between 11 and 20 staff to the next stage.

Big Skies Food Company

Mark Ford and Zoe Skelton are hoping their Diss-based venture could prove a tasty business proposition. Their gourmet ‘Snorkersnacker’ sausage roll has just won a national pork industry gold award and the company is built on the idea of using the best ingredients from under the ‘big skies’ of East Anglia.

Comms Supply

Comms Supply is a specialists business which aims to reduce the cost of telecoms for firms and provide improved customer service. The business, which is the brainchild of EDP Future 50 member Karl Alderton, was launched in January and employs six staff with a monthly turnover rising from £15,000 to £60,000.

Electrifying cycles

David Wood from Cromer-based Electrifying Cycles has a vision to turn his business into the leading electric bike company in the UK. His achievements have already caught the eye in the industry as he was this year named as one of the 30 up-and-coming movers and shakers in the cycle trade.

Job Hop

Formed by Julie Bishop, the aim of JobHop is to use the power of social media to help jobseekers connect with potential employers

Olive branch services

Based in Fakenham and founded by Juliet Allen, the aim of Olive Branch Services is to offer remote project office and PA support to smaller businesses. Already she has worked with clients involved in the Sheringham offshore wind farm project.


Started by Carole Osborne and Lee Nash in April 2011, osbornenash is a marketing and design agency which has already caught the eye of EDP Future 50 judges employing six people which has grown using “instinct and varying levels of donated time from local business people.”


Norwich-based chartered civil engineer Alan Wright has come up with an idea for a new low energy pump to solve low pressure problems in taps and showers.

Backed by the Newspaper Society the contest will see eight companies from across Norfolk taking part in a Dragons Den style final at City College Norwichs Start-Up lounge on Wednesday.

The competition saw 40 entrepreneurs apply to take part and the selected finalists will pitch their ideas in front of a panel of judges Kevin Horne, chief executive of NWES, Caroline Williams, chief executive of Norfolk Chamber, and Siobhan Eke, director of enterprise and innovation at City College Norwich.

In the run up to the final, the competing candidates have been invited to say more about their businesses using words, video and pictures via the site and share their thoughts via the microblog site Twitter.

One of the finalists, David Wood, business director of Cromer-based finalist Electrifying Cycles, said winning the competition would help spread the word about the benefits of electric bicyles.

People have misconceptions about what they are and what the advantages are, he said. Im planning a stripped down presentation and to let the facts do the talking.

Now in its second year, the LBA initiative, aims to highlight how local newspapers can assist businesses in achieving their growth objectives. Organised by the Newspaper Society, the industry body for the local and regional media, and sponsored by Business In You, a government initiative to encourage more people to start a business, it offers businesses between one and five years old the chance to win a free advertising campaign in their local newspaper plus mentoring support from local business experts.

In Norfolk the Chamber is offering a years free mentoring to the winning local business; NWES has also offered mentoring support, while Archant Norfolk, publishers of the EDP, is offering free advertising support.

The most promising businesses will go forward to a national round of the competition to win a years mentoring from Deborah Meaden and a local advertising campaign devised by a top London creative ad agency.

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Dr Belinda Clarke wants to be a “catalyst” to turn science and technology innovations into useful tools for the food and farming industries. She told CHRIS HILL how this drove her leadership of Agri-Tech East, winner of an EDP Business Award.

Simon Innes had more than 15 years of retail management experience when he joined CVS Group in 2004 and has since steered the company
to national success and an EDP Business Award. He told BETHANY WHYMARK about the company’s growing dominance in the animal care sector.

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